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States and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

NCJ Number
J Felde; C Wnuk; C Zimmerman
Date Published
49 pages
After providing an overview of the provisions of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, this paper describes major funding provisions for State and local governments, analyzes specific provisions that affect States, and specifies grant provisions under each title.
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 became law on September 13, 1994. This legislation provides both new money and new mandates. The most significant features of the act are increased penalties for violent crimes ("three-strikes" provision and "truth-in-sentencing" measures); an increased commitment to incarceration (tougher sentencing and more prison construction); a substantial new commitment to crime prevention; and an assault weapons ban. Spending under the act is under three broad categories: law enforcement, corrections, and crime prevention. In financial terms, the most important category for States is corrections, which provides new Federal funding for State prisons. The largest budget item in the act is Community Oriented Policing Services, which provides up to $8.8 billion in funds for State and local governments to hire as many as 100,000 new police officers, with an emphasis on community policing. Major funding provisions for State and local governments pertain to Byrne Memorial Formula Grants, improvement in criminal history records, correctional facilities/boot camps, reversing Federal court mandates, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, State prison drug treatment programs, courts, violence against women, police corps, grants to local governments, and Indian tribal governments. Information on grant provisions under each title encompass eligibility, uses of grant funds, type of grant, which agency will administer it, application requirements, comments, and funding. Appended list of information sources for the Violent Crime Control Act