The 1994 Crime Bill and Beyond: How Federal Funding Shapes the Criminal Justice System
Date:  09-11-2019

25 years after the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, work is still being done to undo its damage
From The Brennan Center:

September 13 marks 25 years since the signing of the most far-reaching crime bill Congress ever passed. Standing in front of a crowd of uniformed police officers, President Bill Clinton extolled the crime-fighting potential in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, now commonly referred to as the 1994 crime bill.

The law’s legacy is complicated. It contained powerful funding incentives that ensnared more Americans in the ever-widening net of the criminal justice system. But many of its provisions also protected communities and victims of crimes, like an assault weapons ban and protections for women in abusive relationships. Overall, though, the law is now seen by many as a major driver of mass incarceration. For that reason, policymakers who played a role in pushing it forward, including presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, have been attacked for supporting it.

Today, though, there are numerous proposals, such as the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act (which Biden supports), that aim to undo the damage caused by the 1994 crime bill. Continue reading >>>