The Origins and Development of Federal Crime Control Policy: Herbert Hoover's Initiatives

By James D. Calder | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Hoover's Mark on Federal
Justice Policy

My own duty and that of all executive officials is clear--to enforce
the law with all the means at our disposal without equivocation
or reservation.
1

Reform of federal law enforcement, court, and corrections agencies from 1929 to 1933 is a piece of crime policy history largely unrecognized by criminologists, criminal justicians, and social historians. The administration of Herbert Clark Hoover, thirty-first president of the United States, marks the origins of federal crime control policy. Hoover's crime policy initiatives merit revisitation for their larger relevance to crime and justice administration in the twentieth century. They have received neither definitive study nor formal credit, perhaps attributable to perceptions of Hoover, constricted by memories only of failed economic policies of the Depression. 2 This book explores the corners and depths of Hoover's record on crime control initiatives, thereby correcting a deficiency in the criminological record.

Rich and discoverable archives of the Hoover administration's work on crime and federal justice administration are essentially unorganized and untapped. Letters, reports, directives, memoirs, and secondary accounts are located in many branches of the federal government, including several investigative agencies, and in the federal

-1-

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