His major contribution, however, was as the architect of the more than $30 billion Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which emphasized what he called the three policy sectors: police, punishment, and prevention
Influencing Factors Several factors influenced President Clinton’s crime control policy, including a successful tactic to become elected by trumping Bush on a tough stance on crime, the fact that crime is a valence issue and enforcement is supported by an overwhelming majority of citizens, and two major national crises that occurred during his presidency – the first bombing of the World Trade
Center and the Oklahoma City bombing – which caused the country to look toward its leader for guidance and strength. These two events united the people of the United States under a common fear of one of the most frightening types of crime: terrorism. It was natural for American to look to their president for leadership and sound decision making with regard to such grotesque crimes, and Clinton had little choice but to react strongly. “What matters in the case of crime that rises to the level of national attention is that presidents assume their leadership role” (Marion & …show more content…
The Gun Free Schools Act was another attempt by the Clinton administration to keep our society safer from gun violence. This act required that schools adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards guns in schools, and between 1996 and 1998, nearly 10,000 students were expelled from
American schools for bringing guns to school (American Experience, 2012).
Critics of Clinton Policies But for every advocate of Clinton’s crime initiatives, there is someone who believes his sweeping crime legislation was ineffective. The major changes he enacted and incredible amounts of federal money dedicated to crime prevention and control was greatly criticized by many – including Clinton himself in later years. Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, wrote in 2001 (just after the September 11 terrorist attacks) that the Community Oriented
Policing Services (COPS) program enacted by Clinton in 1994 had wasted money by allowing funding to small communities that had very little crime. More importantly, he alleged, in the five years leading up to the September 11 attacks, the administration dedicated nine times