Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Promises about Crime on The Obameter

Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women

"This advisor will ensure that his agenda is coordinated across federal agencies and fully addresses prevention, programs, and the legal aspects of gender based violence."

Issue a "best practices" report for states on reducing domestic violence

"His administration will also issue a joint report on 'best practices' across agencies and disseminate that information to the states."

Fully fund the Violence Against Women Act

Provide "funds to help communities, nonprofit organizations and police combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking."

Expand the Family Medical Leave Act to include leave for domestic violence or sexual assault

"Expand the purposes for which leave can be taken under the Family Medical Leave Act to include reasons related to domestic violence or sexual assault."

Initiate a grant and training program for law enforcement to deter cyber crime

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will also initiate a grant and training program to provide federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies the tools they need to detect and prosecute cyber crime."

Direct attorney general and homeland security secretary to meet with Latin American leaders to develop a hemispheric crime strategy

"Barack Obama will direct his Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary to meet with their Latin American and Caribbean counterparts in the first year of his presidency to produce a regional strategy to combat drug trafficking, domestic and transnational gang activity, and organized crime. A hemispheric pact on security, crime and drugs will permit the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean to advance serious and measurable drug demand reduction goals, while fostering cooperation on intelligence and investigating criminal activity.

Restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program

"The (Bush) administration has consistently proposed to cut or eliminate funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program, which funds anti-drug and anti-gang task forces across the country. …Since 2000, this program has been cut more than 83 percent. ... As president, Obama will restore funding."

Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors

"Will place the weight of (his) administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes."

Vigorously pursue hate crimes and civil rights abuses

Will ensure that the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division vigorously pursues cases involving hate crimes and civil rights abuses by local officials. "And he will also require the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights to provide him with a report for its plan to diversify the Division's workforce in his first 100 days, particularly in the Criminal Section."

Eliminate disparity in sentencing for crack and cocaine

"Will work in a bipartisan way to eliminate disparities" between mandatory sentences for trafficking crack cocaine versus powder cocaine, which he believes has disproportionately filled our prison with young black and Latino drug users. "They will also repeal the mandatory minimum sentence for first-time offenders convicted of simple possession of crack, as crack is the only drug that a non-violent first-time offender can receive a mandatory minimum sentence for possessing."

Reform mandatory minimum sentences

"Will immediately review (mandatory minimum) sentences to see where we can be smarter on crime and reduce the ineffective warehousing of nonviolent drug offenders."

Enhance drug courts

"Currently, the Department of Justice makes grants available to state and local governments to establish drug courts. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will replicate these efforts within the federal criminal justice system by signing a law that would authorize federal magistrates to preside over drug courts and federal probation officers to oversee the offenders' compliance with drug treatment programs. They will ensure that our federal courts and probation offices have adequate resources to deal with this new program."

Ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies

"Will sign legislation that will ban the practice of racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal funding to state and local police departments if they adopt policies to prohibit the practice."

Encourage videotaping of interrogations in capital cases

Will encourage states to adopt a law similar to one he shepherded through the Illinois legislature, "requiring videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases to ensure that prosecutions are fair."

Create a prison-to-work incentive program

"Will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, to create ties with employers, third-party agencies that provide training and support services to exoffenders, and to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates."

Fully fund the COPS program

Will fully funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program "to combat crime and help address police brutality and accountability issues in local communities."

Repeal law that limits the sharing of gun-tracing data

Will "repeal the Tiahrt Amendment and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade."

Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area

"Will finish rebuilding the region's criminal justice system so that we do not have to rely on the National Guard to patrol city streets..Will establish a special "COPS for Katrina" program to allow communities impacted by the storm to hire and retain new officers and community prosecutors, develop community-based crime fighting strategies, and rebuild their lost infrastructure... Will strengthen Drug Enforcement Administration efforts to stop the reestablishment of drug gangs across the region...Will help local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies come together to establish an integrated regional crime control partnership so that each police chief and sheriff doesn't have to face these crime problems alone."

Toughen enforcement for Internet exploitation of children

"Will give parents the tools and information they need to control what their children see on television and the Internet in ways fully consistent with the First Amendment. To further protect children online...Support tough penalties, increased enforcement resources and forensic tools for law enforcement, and collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector to identify and prosecute people who abuse the Internet to try to exploit children."

Send first-time nonviolent drug offenders to rehab if appropriate

"We will give first-time, nonviolent drug offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug-rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior."