Essay on Federal vs. State Policy Comparison

1116 Words Sep 16th, 2010 5 Pages
Laws and policies are written in different aspects of the criminal justice system. Some of these policies are written within the federal government and some are written on a smaller scale in the state government. The two seem rather simple to understand on the surface. The federal government handles the entire United States whereas the state government handles just what it says and that is within that specific state, such as New Jersey (N.J.). The following paper will contain information which will compare and contrast the policies written from both types of governments and how they relate to the criminal justice system. There will be information on how these policies have been developed and how they are implemented. Some
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In a span of 20 years, offenders that served time in a federal prison grew 286 percent as opposed to state offenders which grew only by 131 percent. Between 1987 and 2005 the growth of length in the federal prison terms grew by more than 100 percent (Wright, 2006). Certain crimes caused the federal prison system to grow more rapidly than the state counterparts. Those crimes include firearms charges as well as drug charges. Drug charges that result in federal prisons usually involve larger amounts of drugs held by more serious offenders with longer criminal histories (Wright, 2006). There is more work involved in getting someone tried in a federal court and therefore, the agents spend a large amount of time trying to find the best way with the most benefits to develop the trial. The less severe cases are then left up to the state prosecutors to try. A federal prosecutor will consult informally with state prosecutors in the area who handle similar cases (Wright, 2006). The number of offenders who were sent to a federal prison went from 60 percent in 1989 to 86 percent in 2002, which is an increase of about one-third. This increase does not compare to the state courts which did not really move during the 1990’s when considering felony offenders. There were 70 percent of felony offenders in 1992 compared to 69 percent in 2002. Not a big difference (Wright, 2006). Wright (2006) also explains that “In the federal system, the length of prison terms served almost

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