2 minute read

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of (1994)

Provisions Of The Violent Crime Control And Law Enforcement Act Of 1994

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act provided $30.2 billion over six years for crime control and related social programs—the most money ever allotted in a federal crime bill. State and local law enforcement would receive $10.8 billion of this; $9.9 billion was earmarked for prisons, and $6.9 billion was earmarked for crime prevention.

The largest portion of this funding went to community policing. The bill created an $8.8 billion program to add 100,000 police officers nationwide for police patrols. In addition, the bill allotted $2.6 billion for the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and Border Patrol. $245 million was given to rural anti-crime efforts, and $150 million to help implement new laws requiring up to a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases

The act gave $1.6 billion to fight violence against women, including money to train and add police, prosecutors and judges; money for victims' services and advocates, and money for rape-education and community-prevention programs.

Perhaps because the bill was passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic president, social programs were given a big priority. These programs included $567 million for after-school, weekend, and summer "safe haven" programs for youth; $243 million for in-school programs providing positive activities and alternatives to crime and drug abuse; and $377 million to be used for anti-gang programs, midnight sports leagues, boys and girls clubs, and other projects. There was also $1 billion for drug-court programs and substance-abuse treatment for non-violent offenders.

The most controversial provision of the act was non-monetary: the assault-weapons ban. It called for a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer, or possession of 19 semi-automatic assault weapons. Certain kinds of revolving-cylinder shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and ammunition magazines were also banned. The act also outlawed the ownership of handguns by juveniles.

Less controversially, the bill established a three-strikes law that mandated life in prison for a third serious violent-felony conviction or a violent-felony conviction that follows a serious violent felony and a serious drug conviction under federal law. The crime bill also created 60 new federal crimes that call for the death penalty, including murder of federal judges; murder of federal law enforcement officers; murder of high-level members of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH; murder of a member of Congress; KIDNAPPING that results in death, and fatal violence committed in international airports.

Finally, on the subject of prisons, the bill allocated $9.9 billion, including $7.9 billion to build state prisons for violent offenders, and $1.8 billion to states for jailing criminal illegal immigrants.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Vest to Water RightsViolent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of (1994) - Background Of The Violent Crime Control Act, Provisions Of The Violent Crime Control And Law Enforcement Act Of 1994