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DORIS SELMANI- Financial Analyst at Beazley
Imagine you are interviewed by a reporter from the New York Times about President Clintons Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.You take notes during your interview to prepare for a memo you must submit to your supervisor in this weeks briefings. Include the following in your submission:Appraise the political and societal issues in the 1990s.Present the crime rate in the early 1990s.Provide an overview of the policy.Justify the political explanation for the policy.Critique the goals and objectives of the policy and determine if they have been reached.Explain why and how the policy failed.Facilitate suggestions for improvements to the policy.Support your assignment with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including seminal articles, may be included.Length: 5-7 pages, not including title and reference pagesYour assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.
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The political and societal issues in the 1990s
Bureaucracy in the American government in the 1990s posed a significant political challenge. Intricate processes of initiating and drumming up adequate support for policy and law amendments reduced government action speeds (Moreno, 2019). Americas elected state representatives had little control of most political processes, and would have minimal influence on the widely bureaucratic state decisions. The bureaucracy inhibited proper state performance as multi-stakeholder input was limited (Moreno, 2019). Government officials nurtured and promoted a decision-making culture that failed to recognize most representative influences or advice. Government bureaucracy suppressed competency enhancement as most state officials would take oaths to protect and strictly act within the existing government provisions.
Immigration in the 90s involved legal and illegal residents entering America in constantly increasing numbers. Immigration into The United States was a risky prospect, out of which immigrants hoped to draw economic benefits. America gradually became an immigration highlight, as industry continued to grow across the states (Moreno, 2019). The foreigner influx peaked in the mid-90s amidst policy amendment to curb the entry of additional illegal immigrants. Such immigration in the recorded significant numbers was a political problem as independent state jurisdiction and immigrant rights rows would soon emerge (Moreno, 2019). Immigration would challenge voting rights and democratic policies as state sections failed to reach agreements on whether or not the illegal and legal immigrants would be allowed to vote.
Corruption and state unaccountability was a political problem in America, and influenced results like late state project completion. The 1990s governments would fail to evaluate public officials overall effectiveness, and this would have consequences. Specific practices by sections of government officials undermined performance and potential, diminishing public confidence in sitting governments (Moreno, 2019). Unaccountability influenced state budget flops and would become the grounds for failure in select state involvements.
Racial injustice marred American politics and the problem would worsen towards the decades end. Racism in America in the 1990s was characterized by the belief that the white race was superior to the blacks and Asians. The society widely embraced the idea that the differences in diverse behavioral traits across racial lines made the whites more desirable (Moreno, 2019). There was open discrimination in activities like hiring, in favor of the white Americans. Rights to accessing most public resources were biased to favor the white race, and this became a social concern. Most legal trials directly victimized the blacks and Indians, and ended in unjust sentencing, and conviction.
Cultural conflicts within communities living in America was another major social problem. Inconsistencies in religious beliefs and viewpoints meant frequent group clashes that in some instances, would result in fatalities. Divergent practices and beliefs in Christianity and Islam sometimes caused standoffs and public hate displays. Cultural conflict impacted negatively on national unity and cohesion, staining the United States society fabric. Studies into culture-influenced societal imbalances reveal value imposition as the major cause of misunderstandings amongst the American 1990s communities.
The crime rate in the early 1990s
Americas general crime rates exhibited an upward trend. Lyndons presidency marked the dawn of steady crime rate increases that spilled over into the 1990s (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 408). Drug and drug use related crimes triggered the upward crime rate trend, with the cocaine epidemic influencing more homicides and firearm related violations. In 1990 and 1993 alone, over one thousand murders were reported in New York. Analysts predicted bigger numbers by the close of the decades first half, and advised on policy improvements to help contain the surge. State officials and representatives would speed up bill consultations to urgently enact new laws to curb more crime.
Violent crimes steadily rose between 1991 and 1993, and only began to take a downward trend in mid-1994. Both the small and large cities across America experienced the crime rate changes, and recorded similar results and lessons (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 408). Rural America registered homicides, murders, and other violent crimes in rates almost equal to the urban areas. American sociologists and political scientists based crime rate evaluations on the intersection between modernity and traditional American values.
President Clintons Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act remains the largest bill in the United States history that has been passed to address crime. The bill directed hiring thousands of new uniformed officers and availing additional billions of dollars in state funding to improve prisons and convict holding areas (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 409). The bill further featured additional government investments in crime prevention programs, to the tune of over six billion dollars. Experienced police officers would guide crime prevention programs and oversee rehabilitation. The bill became law in 1994, signed by the president and backed by Congress. The Violence against Women Act was added to the senates variant of the bill, supported by a section of sitting senators (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 411).
The presence of police officers in the maximum number of locations had the potential to directly counter the rising crime rates. Sociologists highlighted the influence of police presence on neighborhood crimes and violations as a determinant of actual crime execution (Moreno, 2019). Politically, the policy is justified by the responsibility president Clintons government had to protect citizens, their rights, and property. The police force was essential to attaining administrative goals, and its sustained functionality would rely on timely adequate state funding. The sustained police force functionality and action capacity was necessary to streamline political representative-citizen engagements and ensure safety in any political forum (Moreno, 2019). This sentiment justifies the policys explanation. Compared to correction, preventive crime combat measures were clearly better approaches to handling violations as every possible damage was evaded. Corrective measures came post-occurrence, and meant there would be victims or casualties anyway. Politically, preventing crimes, rather than correcting criminal outcomes, cuts on the number of new inmates and maintains the society fabric (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 410). This justifies the policys political explanation.
Critique; policy goals and objectives
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was consciously aimed at addressing Americas crime rates, but did not properly address impact evaluation. With Congress passing and President Clintons approval, policymakers mainly focused on policy influences, and were not very considerate of the various possible aftermath implications (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 409). The policy was biased towards homicides and firearm-related violent crimes, at a time when America was registering variations of violent crimes that needed more attention (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 413). The policy assumption that experienced police officers input in crime prevention would be more valuable, failed to consider the possibility of drawing better outcomes from youthful deployments. Most of the policys goals have been attained, considering the drop in Americas crime rates between 1996 and 1999. Between five and ten percent of Americas crime rate decline towards the end of the decade was attributed to the policy (Harmon, 2017).
To an extent, the policy did not fully serve its intended purpose, by failing to fully recognize external violent criminal influences. Illegal immigration meant character and behavior importation into the country, but these were not addressed. As authorities and deployed officers worked to prevent violent crimes under the policy, specific externalities became waves that were not properly planned for (Palmiotto, 1998, p. 417). The policy carried a political influence on combating drugs and street gangs. Based on a closer examination, such interests did not align with the common voters political goals. Policy impact and intention biases featured split interests between sections of Congress and the senate, resulting in policy implication gaps that set the stage for eventual failure.
Policy improvement suggestions
The policy should be scanned for hidden biases that compromise its inclusivity and population impact targeting. Policy biases result in ineffectiveness and are the primary causes of policy failure (Harmon, 2017). The policy should be amended to feature more collaborative and teamwork-oriented approaches to preventing and combating crime. The experienced officers may be assigned tasks alongside new and less experienced officers, who would enhance the senior officers flexibility in combating violent crimes. Better monitoring and evaluations should be described under the Act, to counter possible misconduct and unaccountability in policy implementation. Stakeholder accountability, integrity, and responsibility, are essential to staging impactful policy implementation (Harmon, 2017). Better structured implementation guidelines should be instituted under the policy, to provide definite directions and describe the required action courses. Policy relevance rests on guidelines and the preset provisions.
Harmon, R. A. (2017). Evaluating and improving structural reform in police departments. Criminology & Pub. Poly, 16, 617.
Moreno, A. (2019). Political cleavages: Issues, parties, and the consolidation of democracy. Routledge.
Palmiotto, M. J. (1998). The 1994 violent crime control and law enforcement act: An evaluation. Criminal Justice Studies, 10(4), 407-414.
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