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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135528 Find in a Library
Title: Reflections on the Nationalization of Crime, 1964-1968
Journal: Arizona State University Law Journal  Volume:1973  Issue:3  Dated:(1973)  Pages:583-635
Author(s): G Caplan
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 53
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: With the emergence of crime as a national issue in the 1960's, the Federal Government took steps to provide assistance to State and local law enforcement agencies.
Abstract: In many respects, Federal involvement in local law enforcement can be traced to the presidential campaign of 1964, the subsequent creation of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, and passage of the Law Enforcement Assistance Act. The main product of the presidential commission was a 308-page report containing more than 200 recommendations for change. An issue that the commission did not explore, however, was how Federal funds should be channeled to States, cities, and criminal justice agencies. The Office of Law Enforcement Assistance (OLEA) was subsequently created to deal with the issue. OLEA's fundamental dilemma was that prospective applicants for funds did not perceive the need to develop change-oriented programs or revise operational practices. Agencies needing to change the most, police and courts, sought financial assistance the least. This meant that OLEA, unlike the typical Federal aid program, had no natural constituency at the time of its creation. OLEA officials were aware of resistance to change, and they opposed using their limited resources as a subsidy for existing operations. OLEA's successor under the Safe Streets Act, the National Institute on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, provided funds to States primarily as block grants. Pressures were to spend the money on action programs rather than evaluation, and resources available for basic research were diluted. Although Federal funds were not always used effectively, the availability of funds eventually contributed to a climate in which some police departments displayed a willingness to control crime in their communities. 262 footnotes
Main Term(s): Federal aid
Index Term(s): Federal programs; History of criminal justice; Office of Law Enforcement Assistance (OLEA)
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