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Policy & Laws

The United States Department of Justice "works to protect the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriff's departments."¹ The Violence Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 aims to review the practices of law enforcement agencies that may be violating people's federal rights.¹ If this law enforcement agency receives federal funding, they can use the anti-discrimination provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.¹

Traditionally, federal crime control efforts have been directed at problems transcending state boundaries.² These efforts focus on maintaining law and order in areas subject exclusively to federal jurisdiction or of national concern.² Significant to these efforts are the Department of Justice (DOG), specifically the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These two bodies deal with homeland security and anti-terrorism problems that arose from the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks on the World Trade Centres.²

Congress has been extending federal jurisdiction over crime control areas considered to be within state and local jurisdiction, like juvenile justice and gun control. There are a variety of acts that deal with crime control including²:

  • The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984: this act overhauled the federal sentencing system and revised bail and forfeiture procedures along with other federal practices;
  • The Crime Control Act of 1990: this act codified a Crime Victims' Bill of Rights in the federal justice system and directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to amend certain sentencing guidelines;
  • The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: this act authorized funding for law enforcement and crime prevention measures including increasing the number of crimes punishable by death and establishing a "three-strikes" provision for violent offenders.





1. The United States Department of Justice. Conduct of Law Enforcement Agencies. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from

2. Almanac of Policy Issues. Crime Control: The Federal Response. Retrieved May 13, 2014, from

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