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Introduced in House (02/29/1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Victim Restitution Act of 1996

Title II: Violent Criminal Incarceration Act of 1996

Subtitle A: Truth in Sentencing

Subtitle B: Stopping Abusive Prisoner Lawsuits

Subtitle C: Stop Turning Out Prisoners

Subtitle D: Enhancing Protection Against Incarcerated

Criminals

Subtitle E: Prison Conditions

Subtitle F: Community Service Projects

Subtitle G: Prison Commissary Administration

Title III: Criminal Alien Deportation Improvements Act of

1996

Title IV: Local Government Law Enforcement Block Grants Act

of 1996

Title V: Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996

Subtitle A: Habeas Corpus Reform

Subtitle B: Federal Death Penalty Procedures Reform

Crime Prevention and Family Protection Act of 1996 - Title I: Victim Restitution Act of 1996 - Amends the Federal criminal code to require (current law authorizes) the court to order restitution of the victim when a convicted defendant is being sentenced for specified offenses. Provides that such requirement does not affect the power of the court to impose any other penalty authorized by law. Permits the court, in the case of a misdemeanor, to impose restitution in lieu of any other penalty authorized by law.

Authorizes a court to order restitution of any person who, as shown by a preponderance of the evidence, was harmed physically, emotionally, or pecuniarily by unlawful conduct of the defendant during the offense or during the course of a scheme, conspiracy, or pattern of unlawful activity related to the offense. Mandates that a restitution order require the defendant to reimburse the victim for necessary child care, transportation, and other expenses related to participation in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or attendance at proceedings related to the offense.

Directs the court: (1) to order restitution in the full amount of the victim's losses without consideration of the economic circumstances of the offender or the fact that a victim is entitled to receive compensation from insurance or any other source; and (2) upon determination of the amount owed to each victim, to specify in the restitution order the manner of, and schedule for, restitution in consideration of the financial resources, other assets, projected earnings, other income, and financial obligations of the offender.

Specifies that: (1) a restoration order may direct the offender to make a single, lump-sum payment, partial payments at specified intervals, or such in-kind payments as may be agreeable to the victim and the offender and shall direct the offender to give appropriate notice to multiple victims or other persons who may receive restitution where the identity of such victims and other persons can be reasonably determined; and (2) such in-kind payments may be in the form of the return or replacement of property or the provision of services.

Provides that when the court finds that: (1) more than one offender has contributed to the loss of a victim, the court may make each offender liable for payment of the full amount or may apportion liability to reflect the level of contribution and economic circumstances of each offender; and (2) more than one victim has sustained a loss requiring restitution, the court shall order full restitution of each victim but provide for different payment schedules to reflect the economic circumstances of each victim.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) compensation with respect to losses from insurance or other sources; (2) set-offs against amounts later recovered as compensatory damages by the victim in Federal and State civil proceedings; and (3) payment by the offender to an entity designated by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts for accounting and payment in accordance with this Act.

Specifies that a restitution order shall constitute a lien against all property of the offender.

Makes compliance with a restitution order a condition of any probation, parole, or other form of release. Specifies actions the court may take, including revocation of probation or supervised release, if a defendant fails to comply. Provides for enforcement of restitution orders.

Authorizes: (1) a victim or the offender to petition the court to modify a restitution order in view of a change in the economic circumstances of the offender; and (2) the court to refer any issue arising in connection with a proposed restitution order to a magistrate or special master for proposed findings of fact and recommendations as to disposition, subject to a de novo determination of the issue by the court.

Title II: Violent Criminal Incarceration Act of 1996 - Subtitle A: Truth in Sentencing - Revises the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (VCCLEA) to authorize the Attorney General to provide grants to eligible States (and to eligible States organized as a regional compact) to build, expand, and operate: (1) space in correctional facilities in order to increase prison bed capacity for persons convicted of a serious violent felony; and (2) temporary to permanent correctional facilities, including facilities on military bases and boot camp facilities, for the confinement of convicted nonviolent offenders and criminal aliens for the purpose of freeing suitable existing prison space for persons convicted of a serious violent felony. Permits such grants to be used to build, expand, and operate secure youth correctional facilities. Limits eligible States to receiving either a general grant or a truth-in-sentencing incentive grant.

Requires a State, to be eligible to receive general grant funds, to submit to the Attorney General an application that provides assurances (general grant requirements) that since 1993 such State has increased: (1) the percentage of convicted violent offenders sentenced to prison; (2) the average prison time actually to be served by such offenders; and (3) the percentage of sentence actually to be served in prison by violent offenders.

Requires a State, to be eligible to receive truth-in-sentencing incentive grants, to submit to the Attorney General an application that provides assurances that the State has enacted laws and regulations which include: (1) truth-in-sentencing laws which either currently require or, within three years, will require that persons convicted of a serious violent felony serve not less than 85 percent of the sentence imposed or 85 percent of the court-ordered maximum sentence for States that practice indeterminate sentencing; (2) laws requiring that the sentencing or releasing authorities notify and allow the victims of the defendant or the family of such victims the opportunity to be heard regarding the issue of sentencing and any post-conviction release; and (3) laws requiring that the releasing authority notify the victims of serious violent felons or the family of such victims and the convicting court regarding the release of a defendant.

Requires a State, to be eligible to receive general grants or truth-in-sentencing grants under this Act, to provide an assurance to the Attorney General that: (1) inmate labor will be used to build and expand correctional facilities; (2) each State will involve counties and other local governments in the construction, development, expansion, modification, operation, or improvement of correctional facilities designed to ensure the incarceration of offenders and will share funds received under this subtitle with any county or other local government that is housing State prisoners, taking into account the burden placed on such local government in confining prisoners due to overcrowding in State prison facilities in furtherance of the purposes of VCCLEA; (3) the State has implemented or will implement (within 18 months) policies to determine the veteran status of inmates and to ensure that incarcerated veterans receive the veterans benefits to which they are entitled; and (4) the State has adopted procedures for the collection of reliable statistical data which compiles the rates of serious violent felonies before and after the receipt of general grant or truth-in-sentencing grant funds and will report such statistical data to the Attorney General if not already provided.

Specifies that beginning in FY 1998, 15 percent of the funds that would otherwise be available to a State as general grants or truth-in-sentencing grants shall be withheld from any State which does not have an eligible system of consequential sanctions for juvenile offenders.

Makes a State eligible for grants under this title notwithstanding the general grant requirements if the State practices indeterminant sentencing and the average times served in such State for murder, rape, robbery, and assault exceed the national average of times served for such offenses by ten percent or more. Allows a State to use up to 15 percent of the funds provided under this title for jail construction if the Attorney General determines that the State has enacted legislation that provides for pretrial release requirements at least as restrictive as those found in the Federal criminal code or legislation that prohibits an individual charged with an offense for which a sentence of more than one year may be imposed or involving violence against another person from being released before trial without a financial guarantee to ensure appearance before trial. Provides that the Governor of the State may allow for earlier release of a geriatric prisoner or a prisoner whose medical condition precludes the prisoner from posing a threat to the public after a public hearing in which representatives of the public and the prisoner's victims have an opportunity to be heard.

Permits a State that otherwise meets the requirements of this title and that certifies to the Attorney General that exigent circumstances require that it expend funds to confine juvenile offenders, to use funds received under this title to build, expand, and operate juvenile correctional facilities or pretrial detention facilities for such offenders.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the formula for determining the amount of funds that each State may receive; (2) accounting, audit, and reporting requirements (including a requirement that States receiving funds under this title require that the appropriate public authorities report to the Attorney General the death of each individual while in a municipal or county jail, State prison, or other similar place of confinement and that the Attorney General annually publish a report on such deaths); and (3) limitations on funds. Authorizes appropriations.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the transfer and use of unallocated funds; and (2) the reservation of funds for payments to States for the incarceration of criminal aliens. Directs the Attorney General to give preference for specified payments under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to States and political subdivisions which are ineligible for payments for incarceration of criminal aliens under this Act.

Subtitle B: Stopping Abusive Prisoner Lawsuits - Amends the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act to prohibit any civil action for deprivation of rights from being brought by an adult convicted of a crime and confined in any correctional facility until available plain, speedy, and effective administrative remedies are exhausted.

(Sec. 212) Requires the court to dismiss any such action if satisfied that the action: (1) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; or (2) is frivolous or malicious.

(Sec. 213) Repeals a provision requiring that the minimum standards provide for an advisory role for employees and inmates in the formulation, implementation, and operation of the system.

(Sec. 214) Amends the Federal judicial code to authorize the court to request an attorney to represent a person financially unable to employ counsel at any time. Requires (current law authorizes) the court to dismiss a proceeding in forma pauperis if the allegation of poverty is untrue or if satisfied that the action is frivolous or malicious.

Requires: (1) a prisoner in a correctional institution who files an affidavit of indigence to include a statement of all assets such prisoner possesses; and (2) the court to make inquiry of the institution for information relating to the extent of the prisoner's assets and to require full or partial payment of filing fees according to the prisoner's ability to pay.

Subtitle C: Stop Turning Out Prisoners - Revises provisions of VCCLEA regarding judicial remedies with respect to prison conditions.

Specifies that prospective relief in a civil action with respect to prison conditions shall extend no further than necessary to remove the conditions that are causing the deprivation of the Federal rights of individual plaintiffs in that action. Prohibits the court from granting or approving any prospective relief unless it finds that the relief is narrowly drawn and the least intrusive means to remedy the violation of the Federal right. Directs the court, in determining the intrusiveness of the relief, to give substantial weight to any adverse impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal justice system caused by the relief.

Prohibits the court, in any such action, from granting or approving any relief to reduce or limit the prison population unless the plaintiff proves that crowding is the primary cause of the deprivation of the Federal right and no other relief will remedy that deprivation.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) termination of relief (including provision for the automatic termination of prospective relief after a two-year period); (2) procedure for motions affecting prospective relief; (3) standing (grants standing to specified Federal, State, or local officials to oppose the imposition or continuation in effect of relief to reduce or limit the prison population and to intervene in any proceeding relating to that relief); (4) special masters; and (5) attorney's fees.

Subtitle D: Enhancing Protection Against Incarcerated Criminals - Amends the Federal criminal code to require the Bureau of Prisons to ensure that: (1) prisoners under its jurisdiction do not engage in any physical activities designed to increase their fighting ability; and (2) all equipment designed for increasing the strength or fighting ability of prisoners promptly be removed from Federal correctional facilities and not be introduced into such facilities thereafter except as needed for a medically required program of physical rehabilitation approved by the Director of the Bureau (Director).

Subtitle E: Prison Conditions - Directs the Attorney General to establish standards regarding conditions in the Federal prison system that provide prisoners the least amount of amenities and personal comforts consistent with constitutional requirements and good order and discipline in the Federal prison system.

(Sec. 242) Requires the Director to report annually to the Congress on the amount spent at each Federal correctional facility under the Bureau's jurisdiction for: (1) the minimal requirements necessary to maintain custody and security of prisoners; (2) basic nutritional needs; (3) essential medical services; and (4) amenities and programs beyond the scope of such items.

Subtitle F: Community Service Projects - Amends the Federal criminal code to authorize the Chief Executive Officer of a Federal penal or correctional facility, as part of an inmate work program, to provide services to private, nonprofit organizations or to a component of any State government or political subdivision thereof which shall: (1) be used only for the benefit of the recipient entity; and (2) not displace an employee of the recipient or result in a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits of any employee of the recipient.

Subtitle G: Prison Commissary Administration - Amends the Federal criminal code to authorize the Director to establish, operate, and maintain commissaries in Federal penal or correctional facilities to provide or make available to inmates articles and services authorized by the Director.

Establishes in the Treasury the Prison Commissary Fund. Requires revenues from commissary articles and services to be deposited in the Fund which shall be available for the payment of any expenses incurred by the Bureau in establishing, operating, and maintaining prison commissaries and the Fund. Authorizes the Director to use monies from the Fund for the general welfare of inmates.

Title III: Criminal Alien Deportation Improvements Act of 1996 - Amends INA, as amended by the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, to expand the definition of "aggravated felony" to include various offenses including: (1) commercial bribery, counterfeiting, forgery, or trafficking in vehicles the identification numbers of which have been altered for which a sentence of five or more years' imprisonment may be imposed; (2) perjury or subornation of perjury for which a sentence of five or more years' imprisonment may be imposed; and (3) failure to appear before a court pursuant to a court order to answer or dispose of a charge of a felony for which a sentence of two or more years' imprisonment may be imposed.

(Sec. 302) Subjects a conditional permanent resident alien convicted of an aggravated felony to expedited deportation.

(Sec. 303) Revises the seven-year residency defense against a deportation or exclusion order to permit deportation or exclusion of a permanent resident alien who has been sentenced (currently, imprisoned) to five or more years for an aggravated felony.

(Sec. 304) Limits collateral attacks on deportation orders.

(Sec. 305) Amends VCCLEA to: (1) rename the criminal alien tracking center as the criminal alien identification system; (2) specify that the system shall be used to identify and locate deportable aliens who have committed aggravated felonies; and (3) transfer the system from the Attorney General to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(Sec. 306) Amends Federal criminal law to: (1) bring certain alien smuggling-related crimes under the purview of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations provisions; and (2) authorize wiretaps for alien smuggling investigations.

(Sec. 308) Revises criteria under INA for deportation for crimes of moral turpitude to cover certain aliens convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed.

(Sec. 309) Makes local governments eligible for specified alien incarceration reimbursement assistance under VCCLEA.

(Sec. 310) Amends INA to permit the use of electronic and telephonic media in deportation hearings.

(Sec. 312) Directs the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to report on the effectiveness of the Prisoners Transfer Treaty with Mexico.

(Sec. 313) Directs the Attorney General to designate a Department of Justice office which shall provide States and local entities with technical and prosecutorial assistance with respect to aliens who flee prosecution for crimes committed in the United States.

(Sec. 314) Advises the President to negotiate bilateral prisoner transfer treaties. Requires annual presidential certification that a treaty is effectively returning illegal aliens incarcerated in the United States to finish their prison term in their home country.

(Sec. 315) Directs the Attorney General and the Commissioner to develop an interior (home country) repatriation program.

(Sec. 316) Amends INA to authorize deportation of nonviolent offenders prior to Federal or State sentence completion.

Title IV: Local Government Law Enforcement Block Grants Act of 1996 - Amends VCCLEA to replace provisions of title I setting forth the Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Act of 1994 with a local law enforcement block grant program. Requires the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to pay to qualifying local governments specified sums for reducing crime and improving public safety, including sums for: (1) hiring, training, and employing on a continuing basis new, additional law enforcement officers and support personnel; (2) paying overtime to increase the number of hours worked by presently employed officers and support personnel; (3) procuring equipment, technology, and other material directly related to basic law enforcement functions; (4) enhancing security measures in and around schools and any other facility or location which is considered by the unit of local government to have a special risk for incidents of crime; (5) establishing crime prevention programs that may involve, though not exclusively, law enforcement officials and that are intended to discourage, disrupt, or interfere with the commission of criminal activity; (6) establishing or supporting drug courts; (7) establishing early intervention and prevention programs for juveniles to reduce or eliminate crime; (8) enhancing the adjudication process of cases involving violent offenders, including the adjudication process of cases involving violent juvenile offenders; (9) enhancing programs under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (Omnibus Act) drug control and system improvement grant program; (10) establishing cooperative task forces between adjoining local governments to work cooperatively to prevent and combat criminal activity, particularly criminal activity that is exacerbated by drug- or gang-related involvement; and (11) establishing a multijurisdictional task force, particularly in rural areas, composed of local law enforcement officials, that works with Federal law enforcement officials to prevent and control crime.

Prohibits a local government from expending any of the funds provided under this title to purchase, lease, rent, or otherwise acquire tanks or armored personnel carriers, fixed wing aircraft, limousines, real estate, yachts, consultants, or vehicles not primarily used for law enforcement unless the Attorney General certifies that extraordinary and exigent circumstances exist that make the use of funds for such purposes essential to the maintenance of public safety and good order.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the timing of payments; (2) payment adjustments; (3) reservation of sums for adjustments; (4) repayment of unexpended amounts; (5) requirements that such funds not be used to supplant State or local funds; (6) matching funds; (7) oversight accountability and administration; and (8) technology assistance. Authorizes appropriations.

Prohibits a local government from expending any of the funds provided under this title to purchase, lease, rent, or otherwise acquire tanks or armored personnel carriers, fixed wing aircraft, limousines, real estate, yachts, consultants, or vehicles not primarily used for law enforcement unless the Attorney General certifies that extraordinary and exigent circumstances make the use of funds for such purposes essential to the maintenance of public safety and good order.

Requires the Director to: (1) establish procedures under which a local government is required to provide notice to the Director regarding the proposed use of funds made available under this title; and (2) establish a process for the ongoing evaluation of projects developed with such funds.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) general qualification requirements; (2) sanctions for noncompliance; (3) maintenance of effort requirements; (4) the allocation and distribution of funds, including resolution of disparate allocations and unavailability and inaccuracy of information; (5) the use of funds to contract with private, nonprofit entities or community-based organizations; and (6) public participation.

(Sec. 402) Repeals VCCLEA provisions regarding: (1) the Ounce of Prevention Council; (2) local crime prevention block grants; (3) model intensive block grants; (4) family and community endeavor schools grants; (5) assistance for delinquent and at-risk youth; (6) police retirement; (7) the Local Partnership Act; (8) the National Community Economic Partnership; (9) urban recreation and at-risk youth; (10) community-based justice grants for prosecutors; (11) the family unity demonstration project; and (12) gang resistance and education training.

Title V: Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 - Subtitle A: Habeas Corpus Reform - Chapter 1: Post Conviction Petitions: General Habeas Corpus Reform - Amends the Federal judicial code to establish a one-year statute of limitations for habeas corpus actions brought by State prisoners, running from the latest of the time at which: (1) the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review; (2) the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed where the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action; (3) the Federal right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court where the right has been newly recognized by the Court and is retroactively applicable; and (4) the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence.

Specifies that time that passes during the pendency of a properly filed application for State review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim shall not be counted toward any period of limitation.

(Sec. 502) Vests authority to issue certificates of probable cause for appeal of habeas corpus orders exclusively in the courts of appeals. Permits a certificate of probable cause to issue only if the petitioner has made a substantial showing of the denial of a Federal right. Specifies that such certificate must indicate which specific issue or issues satisfy this standard.

(Sec. 504) Permits the denial of a habeas corpus petition on the merits, notwithstanding the failure of the applicant to exhaust State court remedies. Specifies that a State shall not be deemed to have waived the exhaustion requirement or estopped from reliance upon the requirement, unless, through its counsel, it expressly waives the requirement.

Prohibits an application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court from being granted with respect to any claim that was decided on the merits in State proceedings, unless the adjudication of the claim resulted in a decision that was based on an arbitrary or unreasonable: (1) interpretation of clearly established Federal law as articulated in U.S. Supreme Court decisions; (2) application to the facts of clearly established Federal law as articulated in such decisions; or (3) determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State proceeding.

(Sec. 505) Imposes a two-year period of limitation for filing for collateral relief by Federal prisoners, running from the latest of the time at which: (1) the judgment of conviction becomes final; (2) the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed where the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action; (3) the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court where the right has been newly recognized by the Court and is retroactively applicable; and (4) the factual predicate of the claim presented could have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence.

Chapter 2: Special Procedures for Collateral Proceedings in Capital Cases - Amends the Federal judicial code to set forth special habeas corpus procedures in capital cases, including provisions regarding: (1) the appointment of counsel; (2) stays of execution, limits on stays, and successive petitions; and (3) time requirements and tolling rules.

Directs the district court, whenever a State prisoner under capital sentence files a petition for habeas corpus relief to which this subtitle applies, to consider only claims that have been raised and decided on the merits in the State courts, unless the failure to raise the claim properly is: (1) the result of State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the result of the Supreme Court recognition of a new Federal right that is retroactively applicable; or (3) based on a factual predicate that could not have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence in time to present the claim for State or Federal post-conviction review.

Prohibits an appeal from being taken to the court of appeals from the final order of a district court denying relief in a habeas corpus proceeding that is subject to this subtitle unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of probable cause. Specifies that such a certificate may only be issued if the petitioner has made a substantial showing of the denial of a Federal right and must indicate which specific issue or issues satisfy this standard.

Sets forth provisions regarding limitation periods for determining petitions. Requires the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to report annually to the Congress on court compliance with the time limits established by this title.

Chapter 3: Funding for Litigation of Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions in Capital Cases - Amends the Omnibus Act to require the Director of BJA to provide grants to the States to support litigation pertaining to Federal habeas corpus petitions in capital cases.

Subtitle B: Federal Death Penalty Procedures Reform - Revises VCCLEA provisions regarding the conduct of a special hearing to determine whether a death sentence is justified, to require the jury (or if there is no jury, the court) to consider whether the aggravating factors found to exist outweigh any mitigating factors and to recommend such sentence if it unanimously finds at least one aggravating factor and no mitigating factor, or one or more aggravating factors which outweigh any mitigating factors.

Directs that the jury be instructed that: (1) it must avoid any influence of sympathy, sentiment, passion, prejudice, or other arbitrary factors in its decision and should make such a recommendation as the information warrants; and (2) its recommendation is to be based on the aggravating factors and any mitigating factors which have been found, but that the final decision concerning the balance of aggravating and mitigating factors is a matter for the jury's judgment.