Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Department of Justice (DOJ) Appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009
This report provides a discussion of funding for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, including background information, a breakdown of funding from FY2008 regular and supplemental funding, and budget requests for FY2009.
Crime and Forfeiture: The Innocent Third Party
Forfeiture has survived through time in American law, and since 1984, the use of forfeiture statutes to divest felons of their spoils has increased substantially. This report reviews the case law which raises the issue concerning many relative to whether some civil forfeiture proceedings constitute punishment which may violate the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause.
The Federal Grand Jury
This report is a brief general description of the federal grand jury, with particular emphasis on its more controversial aspects—relationship of the prosecutor and the grand jury, the rights of grand jury witnesses, grand jury secrecy, and rights of targets of a grand jury investigation.
Overview of FY2016 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2016 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2015 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of the annual appropriation for CJS.
International Terrorism: Threat, Policy, and Response
This report examines international terrorist actions, threats, U.S. policies and responses. It reviews the nation’s use of tools at its disposal to combat terrorism, from diplomacy, international cooperation, and constructive engagement to physical security enhancement, economic sanctions, covert action, and military force.
International Terrorism: Threat, Policy, and Response
This report examines international terrorist actions, threats, U.S. policies and responses. It reviews the nation’s use of tools at its disposal to combat terrorism, from diplomacy, international cooperation, and constructive engagement to physical security enhancement, economic sanctions, covert action, and military force.
Identity Theft Laws: State Penalties and Remedies and Pending Federal Bills
This report provides an overview of state laws on identity theft. It discusses state laws that penalize identity theft, as well as state laws that assist identity theft victims, including those that permit consumers to block unauthorized persons from obtaining their credit information, known as “security freezes.” The report also includes a survey of state “credit freeze” statutes. The report concludes with summaries of federal identity theft legislation pending in the 110th Congress.
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities
This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities
This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities
This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting.
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities
This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Enron: A Select Chronology of Congressional, Corporate, and Government Activities
This report presents basic background information on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, identifying public policy issues in financial market oversight. This report briefly summarizes some federal laws carrying criminal penalties which may be implicated in the events surrounding the collapse of the Enron Corp. This report compares the auditing and accounting reform measures passed by the House (H.R. 3763) and reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This report compares the major provisions of three auditor and accounting reform proposals: H.R. 3763, S. 2673, and a rule proposed on June 20, 2002, by the SEC that would create a new auditor oversight board by using the SEC’s existing authority to regulate corporate accounting. The report focuses on Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal statute that regulates employer-sponsored pension plans. Section 404(a) is considered the “touchstone for understanding the scope and object of an ERISA fiduciary’s duties.”
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and the application of the McCain amendment by the Department of Defense (DOD) in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Gang Deterrence: A Legal Analysis of H.R. 1279 With References to S. 155
This report examines the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005, H.R. 1279, which as passed by the House, among other things, would dramatically increase the criminal penalties that follow as a consequence of a conviction for violent crimes, including gang offenses. It would expand the instances where juveniles charged with federal crimes of violence can be tried as adults and would authorize the establishment of criminal street gang enforcement teams.
Police and Law Enforcement: Selected Issues
No Description Available.
Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Sex Trafficking: Proposals in the 114th Congress to Amend Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses proposed legislation that would amend federal substantive law in three areas: commercial sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. 1591); the Mann Act, which outlaws transportation and travel for unlawful sexual purposes; and federal tax crimes.
Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity
Congress has the authority to determine classes of aliens who may be admitted into the United States and the grounds for which they may be removed. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, certain conduct may either disqualify an alien from entering the United States ("inadmissibility") or provide grounds for his or her removal/deportation. Prominently included among this conduct is criminal activity. This report explores this issue in-depth, especially the difference between the terms "illegal alien" and "criminal alien" and relevant legislation.
Parental Kidnapping
No Description Available.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs
This report describes four programs operated by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and remove criminal and other removable aliens.
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)
This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).
Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities
This report discusses obstruction of justice, which is is a federal crime. It describes specific kinds of obstruction, organized by type, and references various relevant laws that have provisions against obstruction.
Crime and Forfeiture
This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues.
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief
This report contains an overview of the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests.
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues
In 2010, about 8.1 million Americans were reportedly victims of identity fraud, and the average identity fraud victim incurred a mean of $631 in costs as a result of the fraud—the highest level since 2007. Identity theft is often committed to facilitate other crimes such as credit card fraud, document fraud, or employment fraud, which in turn can affect not only the nation's economy but its security. Consequently, in securing the nation and its economic health, policy makers are also tasked with reducing identity theft and its impact.
Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement
This report gives an overview of cybercrime, which can include crimes such as identity theft, payment card fraud, and intellectual property theft. The report discusses where the criminal acts exist (in both the real and digital worlds), motivations for cybercrimes, and who is committing them, as well as government definitions, strategies, and methods of tracking cybercrime.
Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement
This report gives an overview of cybercrime, which can include crimes such as identity theft, payment card fraud, and intellectual property theft. The report discusses where the criminal acts exist (in both the real and digital worlds), motivations for cybercrimes, and who is committing them, as well as government definitions, strategies, and methods of tracking cybercrime.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Report that provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Report that provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cyber security issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cyber security glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Comparison of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Created by Title I of P.L. 111-347, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010
This report compares the current federally-supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with the federal program established by Title I of P.L. 111-347, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Report that provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to cybersecurity hearings and legislation under consideration in the 113th Congress and those considered in the 112th Congress, as well as executive orders and presidential directives, data and statistics, glossaries, and authoritative reports.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report briefly discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment.
Terrorist Watch List Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms
The November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, TX, renewed interest in terrorist watchlist screening and Brady background checks for firearms through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In the 110th Congress, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Peter King introduced a bill based on a legislative proposal developed by DOJ that would have authorized the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms (and explosives) licenses/permits to "dangerous terrorists." They reintroduced this proposal in the 111th Congress and supporters dubbed it the "Terror Gap" proposal. It was reintroduced once again in the 112th Congress. The Terror Gap proposal raises several potential issues for Congress, which are discussed in this report.
Federal Grand Juries: The Law in a Nutshell
This report discusses the history and current role of the federal grand jury in the American criminal justice system. The federal grand jury exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment. Its responsibilities require broad powers. As an arm of the United States District Court which summons it, upon whose process it relies, and which will receive any indictments it returns, the grand jury's subject matter and geographical jurisdiction is that of the court to which it is attached.
Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights
This report briefly discusses the announcement by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey that the alleged assailant in the Charleston, SC, mass murder/shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church might have been prevented from acquiring a handgun if not for possible recordkeeping oversights on the part of the FBI and Columbia, SC, city police and county sheriff's departments.
Gangs in Central America
No Description Available.
Aiding, Abetting, and the Like: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2
This report discuses the issues that virtually every federal criminal statute has a hidden feature; helpers and hands-on offenders face the same punishment. This results from 18 U.S.C. 2, which visits the same consequences on anyone who orders or assists in the commission of a federal crime.
D.C. Gun Laws and Proposed Amendments
In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which declared three firearms provisions of the D.C. Code unconstitutional, a flurry of legislation was introduced both in Congress and in the District of Columbia Council. This report provides an analysis of the District's firearms laws and congressional proposals.
Terrorist Material Support: A Sketch of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists, 18 U.S.C. 2339A. The other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations, 18 U.S.C. 2339B. They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
This report focuses on four areas under congressional consideration deemed critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures. This report also discusses the effectiveness and sufficiency of programs implementing these aspects of the federal biodefense efforts, outside analysts' suggestions for improving the government's efforts, and current issues under congressional consideration.
Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education
Currently, there are two federal laws that address sexual violence on college campuses: the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act, P.L. 101-542) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX, P.L. 92-318). Following a discussion exploring the prevalence of sexual violence at IHEs, this report provides a detailed policy and legal analysis of these two statutes, as well as a brief description of a third statute related to educational privacy. The report concludes with a summary of the steps that have been taken by Congress and the Administration to address campus sexual violence.
Hate Crime Legislation
This report provides an overview of the hate crime debate, with background on current law and hate crime statistics, and a legislative history of hate crime prevention bills in recent Congresses. This report does not analyze the constitutional or other legal issues that often arise as part of the hate crime debate.