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· American Bar Association. Criminal Justice Section
Capital Punishment
· Criminal Justice in the U.S. CD
· Criminal Justice
Drug Addiction: The Struggle CD
· Drug Facts
Gun Control. WP Special Report
Issue Guide > Crime
· Issues: Crime/Justice
Juvenile Justice Center
Juvenile Violence. WP Special Report
Law Enforcement in a Free Society CD
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
· New York City Police Department
Outline of the U.S. Legal System: Criminal Court Process CD
· Supreme Court of the United States
· U.S. Department of Justice
· Youth Gangs

Original Documents
· Constitutional Amendments 1-10: The Bill of Rights
· Criminal Law: An Overview
· Gun Law, Gun Control & Gun Rights

Exhibits - Digital Images
· New York City Police Museum

· Bureau of Justice Statistics
· Crime in the United States
· Drug Abuse Statistics
Drug Facts
· Drug Trends
· Drugs and Crime Facts
· Indicators of School Crime and Safety
· Law Enforcement and Crime Data
· National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
· Prison Statistics
· Quick Facts about the Bureau of Prisons
· Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Statistical Abstract 2008 - Crime Rates, Law Enforcement, Prisons CD

For High School Students
· FBI for Kids
Famous Cases of the FBI
· Get it Straight: the Facts about Drugs
· How Police Interrogation Works
· How Prisons Work
· How Profiling Works
· How Street Gangs Work
· How the FBI Works
· How Witness Protection Works
· Inside the Courtroom
· Laws and Rights
· The Science behind Drug Abuse


Despite the respect of most Americans for law and the determination of the legal system to protect the rights of individuals, the United States, like all other countries, does experience crime. But crime has been going down in the United States since the 90s. In New York, Fort Worth and other cities, police are cracking down on quality-of-life offenses like public drinking and aggressive panhandling and claiming credit for the big drops in violent crime that follow.

Violent crime rates have been declining steadily since 1994, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2005. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), from 1993 through 2004, the violent crime rate fell 57 percent and the property crime rate declined by 50 percent.

A high percentage of crime in the United States is directly related to the illegal sale and use of drugs. Drugs are smuggled into the country by organized groups of criminals despite intense efforts by the government to stop the illegal drug trade. Those who become addicted to drug use sometimes rob or break into houses or stores to get the money to pay for the drugs.

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

Drug abuse has caused great concern in the United States. The federal government has worked hard to stop the growing of opium poppies, of coca plants and of cannabis (source of marijuana and hashish) in other nations. It has also set up special agencies, sometime working with agencies from other nations, to catch the smugglers outside and inside the United States. Teachers and many other citizens work together to teach children about the dangers of drug use. Many government agencies in the states and private citizen groups work to help drug addicts give up their drugs use and turn to useful lives.

Concern about crime has also led to special government programs and special programs of private citizen groups to stop crime and to help prisoners lead useful lives after their prison sentences end.
In one program, young people are brought into the prisons to talk with prisoners. The idea is that prisoners can do more than any other people to stop young people from turning to crime. The experience of being inside a prison also might have a crime-deterrent effect on the young people.
In some programs, prisoners learn a useful trade so they won't return to crime when they are released. Government programs also encourage private businesses to give young people from poor families jobs so they will be able to earn money legally and will not feel that criminal activity is their only means of getting what they need.

See also:
About the USA > U.S. Government > The Judicial Branch

InfoAlert > Articles about the Judicial System
InfoAlert > Articles about Crime & Law Enforcement

Teacher Resources
· 8th Amendment: The Death Penalty
Anti-Drug Education with the New York Times. Educator's Guide
Crime. Lesson Plan Units
Death Penalty Curricula for High School
Do the Right Thing. Finding Solutions for the Causes of Gang Violence
A Question of Punishment. Examining the Death Penalty in the Social Studies Classroom
· Second Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms
Teacher's Guide. The Resource for Educators
Trying Teens. Exploring the Development of the Juvenile Justice System in the United States

  Link Lists
· Crime: Source & Resources
Crime and Punishment
· Crime Spider. Crime Search Directory
· Crime Topics
· Criminal Justice
· Criminal Justice Links
· Criminal Justice Resources
· Yahoo! Supreme Court News
Feature Article

Anatomy of a Jury
In the American judicial system, it is often the 12 citizens who make up a jury that decide a defendant’s fate. Learn how Americans carry out this important responsibility.
( Special Feature)

Anatomy of a Jury Trial
Juries — usually groups of 6 or 12 ordinary citizens — provide a crucial service for their fellow citizens: Just as in medieval England, where they got started, juries prevent government, even democratic government, from pursuing oppressive prosecutions.
(eJournal, July 2009)

Community-based Groups Combat Crime in American Cities By Burton Bollag.
(In Baltimore, men who grew up in trouble steer teens away from gangs.)
One recent Tuesday evening, 14-year-old Troy Robinson was in a city park when his cousin, who was standing next to him, was shot and killed. The next day, his dark-skinned young face hardened by what he had witnessed, Troy spoke with about growing up in one of this city's worst neighborhoods.
(, January 29, 2009.)

The Supreme Court and the United States
Supreme Court of the U.S. The ultimate interpreter of American law and the American Constitution itself is the United States Supreme Court. Nearly 220 years old, the Court has grown dramatically in stature and authority. Its authority to invalidate as unconstitutional actions of the legislative and executive branches now is long settled. Americans may disagree with the Court's decisions, but defying the Court is simply beyond the bounds of political, even social, legitimacy. eJournal presents a collection of essays that explain how the Court functions. and how it commands the respect of Americans and plays a vital role in the constitutional system. (eJournal, April 2005)

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Updated: August 2009