Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

How the $30.2 Billion in the Crime Control Act Will Be Spent

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

How the $30.2 Billion in the Crime Control Act Will Be Spent

Article excerpt

THE VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, signed into law Tuesday by President Bill Clinton, is a 368-page compendium of laws and programs that supporters say will reduce crime in America.

It calls for $30.2 billion to be paid for by an anti-crime trust fund financed by savings from a reduction in the federal work force. Most of the money will be made available over the next six years in the form of competitive grants to state and local governments and agencies.

Here is a breakdown of the major spending in the act, with estimates for Missouri and Illinois from sources in congressional offices and the Justice Department. PRISONS

$9.85 billion, of which $7.9 billion will be for grants to states to build new prisons. Half will go only to states, such as Missouri, that have "truth-in-sentencing" laws requiring violent felons to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. The bill could provide 3,450 new prison beds for Missouri, the White House says, and as many as 8,200 for Illinois. The rest of the money will be spent to imprison undocumented aliens convicted of crimes and to pay for options to prison for nonviolent, young offenders. POLICE

$8.8 billion in grants to state and local governments to hire up to 100,000 police officers. Estimates for how many more officers that will mean for Missouri have ranged from 1,700 to 2,100. Illinois would get anywhere from 4,100 to 5,700 new officers.

The actual totals will be largely up to the U.S. attorney general, whom the bill gives wide discretion in awarding grants based on the applications of local and state agencies. The bill allows up to 3 percent of the money to be spent for training and other "technical assistance," with the rest to be distributed equally among large and small jurisdictions. …

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