Speaking here in 2019, former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed sweeping criminal justice reform policies that would reverse key portions of a 1994 crime law he supported. Over time, crime rates have risen and fallen in the United States. One response by Congress to increasing levels of crime was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, known as the Crime Act, a measure that contributed to mass incarceration and increases in the crimes subject to the federal death penalty, “three strikes” sentencing, and other tough-on-crime measures that have been the subject of political debate in the current election cycle.
The Crime Act also provided funding for additional police officers, and diversion and rehabilitation programs.
Recently, the First Step Act of 2018 mandated measures to reduce recidivism and prepare inmates for reintegration into society. Though separated by decades, both acts attempted to reform specific aspects of the criminal justice system.
It’s too soon to say what the success of the First Step Act will be, but crime rates declined significantly after passage of the 1994 act. The causes for those declines are still debated by criminologists and economists. Community policing — the practice of community relationship building by the […]
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