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Thinking About Crime: A Federal Perspective on a Local Issue

NCJ Number
Date Published
25 pages
The Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) spoke at a Dartmouth College symposium about the mission and activities of the NIJ as a Federal criminal justice agency and the important role of the Federal Government in crime prevention.
He pointed out that the public demand for the Federal Government to do something about crime will increase and contrasted the expanded role of the Federal Government versus State governments in responding to crime. He discussed strict federalism and Federal activism, noting the legitimacy of the Federal Government's role in crime control policy with the establishment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The growth in the Federal law enforcement role and public concern about crime were examined, as well as violent and property crime rates, crime as a social phenomenon, and drug law offenses. Federal, State, and local responses to crime were compared, including imprisonment and community policing, and provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 were reviewed. The role of the Federal Government in providing assistance to State and local governments and Federal support for criminal justice research were addressed.

Date Published: January 1, 1996