CONTEMPORARY CRIME POLITICS
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 authorized
the expenditure of $30.2 billion dollars, including $13.5 billion for law
enforcement, $9.9 billion for prison construction and $6.9 billion for
crime prevention. The measure also made 60 federal crimes eligible for
the death penalty and mandated life sentences for “three strikes” violent
—Michael Flamm, Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest and the
Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s (2005)
Chapter 2 argued that the emergence of crime on the congressional agenda had its origins in a gradual and sometimes sudden process involving shifting national and state jurisdiction, highly mobilized policy entrepreneurs, and emerging political institutions that shaped the policy environment and contributed to smooth paths of access for criminal justice agencies and narrow citizen groups. In particular, criminal justice agencies became central to national crime politics, and issue activists who called attention to crimes threatening whites and women (particularly as those groups intersected) had an easier time than those drawing attention to crimes against blacks and other marginalized populations. These early efforts led to the institutionalization and growth of federal agencies whose missions expanded with the rise of new crimes, new issues, and new organized groups.
This chapter draws on three data sources to assess the relationship between institutional venues and political representation on crime and justice issues in Congress from 1947 to 2002. The first dataset includes
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Perils of Federalism: Race, Poverty, and the Politics of Crime Control. Contributors: Lisa L. Miller - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 49.
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