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Law Enforcement Assistance Administration: An Administrative History

NCJ Number
W F Powers
Date Published
129 pages
This paper examines the administrative history of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, created by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 as a grant-in-aid program designed to upgrade the administration of criminal justice and to reduce crime.
These goals were achieved through a partnership with State and local governments in which States would identify their crime and justice problems and LEAA would supply block grants to be used in resolving these issues. The antecedents of LEAA date from the period between 1965 and 1968, particularly in the work of the 1965 President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Criminal Justice and the Law Enforcement Assistance Act of 1965. The LEAA block grant program was launched in 1968; the early period was marked by leadership issues exacerbating startup difficulties. The period between 1971 and 1974 was notable for a rapidly expanding organization, coupled with decentralization of authority and functions. Other phases in the organization's history include the withdrawal stage (1974-1977), the abolition of LEAA's 10 regions which led to legislative dismantling of the agency via the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979, and the agency's demise by 1982. 4 figures, 6 appendixes, and 45 references