1994 Crime Bill & the Impact on the Fresno Black Community

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The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 received bipartisan support at the time but has been criticized for some of its provisions, such as mandatory minimum sentencing, and its impact on mass incarceration. (When we looked at claims in 2016 from both sides on the law’s role in mass incarceration, we found the trend of increasing imprisonment began well before 1994, but experts told us the 1994 law exacerbated the issue.)

The legislation was aimed at addressing rising crime in the country and contained a host of policing and crime prevention provisions — including “three-strikes” mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders, funding for community policing and prisons, an assault weapons ban and the Violence Against Women Act. It authorized $30.2 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report on federal crime measures. It increased federal crimes subject to the death penalty and enabled juveniles to be tried as adults for violent and firearm-involved federal crimes.

Federal Crime Bill report

https://lao.ca.gov/1994/reports/federal_crime_bill_271_0994.pdf

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