Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service which Congress has not made publicly available include the following.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Recent Activities and Ongoing Developments, January 31, 2013

The Unemployed and Job Openings: A Data Primer, January 31, 2013

Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview, January 31, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), January 31, 2013

Medicare Primer, January 31, 2013

U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress, January 31, 2013

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress, January 31, 2013

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, January 31, 2013

United Nations Regular Budget Contributions: Members Compared, 1990-2010, January 15, 2013

U.S. and South Korean Cooperation in the World Nuclear Energy Market: Major Policy Considerations, January 28, 2013

 

Stealing Trade Secrets, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made available to the public include the following.

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of U.S.C. 1831 and 1832, January 28, 2013

Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S.2111) — A Legal Analysis, January 28, 2013

Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 113th Congress, January 25, 2013

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions, January 22, 2013

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections, January 29, 2013

Mexico and the 112th Congress, January 29, 2013

U.S. Sanctions on Burma: Issues for the 113th Congress, January 11, 2013

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis, January 29, 2013

Rise in Federal Prison Population is “Unprecedented,” Says CRS

“Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population,” a new report from the Congressional Research Service observes.

“The number of inmates under the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) jurisdiction has increased from approximately 25,000 in FY1980 to nearly 219,000 in FY2012. Since FY1980, the federal prison population has increased, on average, by approximately 6,100 inmates each year. Data show that a growing proportion of inmates are being incarcerated for immigration- and weapons-related offenses, but the largest portion of newly admitted inmates are being incarcerated for drug offenses.”

“Changes in federal sentencing and correctional policy since the early 1980s have contributed to the rapid growth in the federal prison population,” CRS explained. “These changes include increasing the number of federal offenses subject to mandatory minimum sentences; changes to the federal criminal code that have made more crimes federal offenses; and eliminating parole.”

A number of secondary problems are attributable to the rapid growth in incarceration, CRS said, including rising financial costs, overcrowding, and deteriorating prison infrastructure.

“Should Congress choose to consider policy options to address the issues resulting from the growth in the federal prison population, policymakers could choose options such as increasing the capacity of the federal prison system by building more prisons, investing in rehabilitative programming, or placing more inmates in private prisons.”

Alternatively, CRS said, “Policymakers might also consider whether they want to revise some of the policy changes that have been made over the past three decades that have contributed to the steadily increasing number of offenders being incarcerated. For example, Congress could consider options such as (1) modifying mandatory minimum penalties, (2) expanding the use of Residential Reentry Centers, (3) placing more offenders on probation, (4) reinstating parole for federal inmates, (5) expanding the amount of good time credit an inmate can earn, and (6) repealing federal criminal statutes for some offenses.”

A copy of the new report was obtained by Secrecy News. See The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options, January 22, 2013.

Some other noteworthy new and updated CRS reports that Congress has not made publicly available include the following.

The Increase in Unemployment Since 2007: Is It Cyclical or Structural?, January 24, 2013

Can Contractionary Fiscal Policy Be Expansionary?, January 11, 2013

First-Term Members of the House of Representatives and Senate, 64th-113th Congresses, January 25, 2013

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat, January 23, 2013

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, January 24, 2013

The Endangered Species Act and “Sound Science”, January 23, 2013

Maritime Disputes in East Asia, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has declined to make broadly available to the public include the following.

Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress, January 23, 2013

Algeria: Current Issues, January 18, 2013

Malawi: Recent Developments and U.S. Relations, December 11, 2012

Kosovo: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, January 23, 2013

Air Quality: EPA’s 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard, January 23, 2013

Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status, January 24, 2013

Presidential Appointments to Full-Time Positions in Independent and Other Agencies During the 111th Congress, January 22, 2013

An Analysis of Where American Companies Report Profits: Indications of Profit Shifting, January 18, 2013

International Tax Havens, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not made available to the public include the following.

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion, January 23, 2013

An Overview of the Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, January 20, 2013

Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by Higher-Income Unemployed Workers (“Millionaires”), January 23, 2013

Summary Report: Congressional Action on the FY2013 Disaster Supplemental, January 22, 2013

FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief: Summary and Considerations for Congress, January 23, 2013

Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations, January 22, 2013

Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2013, January 3, 2013

Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF): Summary and Issue Overview, January 22, 2013

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, January 24, 2013

Mexico’s New Administration: Priorities and Key Issues in U.S.-Mexican Relations, January 16, 2013

Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act, January 2, 2013

Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, and More from CRS

“Under the Federal criminal justice system, the prosecutor has wide latitude in determining when, whom, how, and even whether to prosecute for apparent violations of Federal criminal law,” says the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual. “The prosecutor’s broad discretion in such areas as initiating or foregoing prosecutions, selecting or recommending specific charges, and terminating prosecutions by accepting guilty pleas has been recognized on numerous occasions by the courts.” (Chapter 9-27).

Although prosecutors enjoy broad discretion concerning whether and whom to prosecute, there are limits, the Manual says, and consequences for prosecutorial overreach:  “Serious, unjustified departures from the principles set forth herein are [to be] followed by such remedial action, including the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, when warranted, as are deemed appropriate.”

(After the execution of Socrates, remorseful Athenians rose up against his three prosecutors, according to the uncorroborated account of Diogenes Laertius.  Meletus was stoned to death, while Anytus and Lycon were banished.)

The exercise of prosecutorial discretion is discussed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service, which focuses particularly on immigration cases.

The report “addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context.” It also considers “potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

See Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues, January 17, 2013.

Some other new and updated CRS products that Congress has not authorized CRS to release to the public include these:

Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress, January 14, 2013

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons, December 19, 2012

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework, January 10, 2013

Crisis in Mali, January 14, 2013

Reaching the Debt Limit, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service which Congress has directed CRS not to release to the public include the following.

Reaching the Debt Limit: Background and Potential Effects on Government Operations, January 4, 2013

The “Fiscal Cliff” and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, January 4, 2012

Proposals to Change the Operation of Cloture in the Senate, January 3, 2013

International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, January 4, 2013

Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2013, January 4, 2013

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Claims of Property Rights “Takings”, January 7, 2013

The Role of TARP Assistance in the Restructuring of General Motors, January 3, 2013

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, January 4, 2013

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues, January 4, 2013

North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation, January 4, 2013

Army Drawdown, Special Operations Forces, More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not made available to the public include the following.

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress, January 3, 2013

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, January 3, 2013

The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress, January 3, 2013

Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues, January 3, 2013

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress, January 2, 2013

Federal Regulation of Chemicals in Commerce: An Overview of Issues for the 113th Congress, January 3, 2013

Physician Practices: Background, Organization, and Market Consolidation, January 2, 2013

Understanding Defense Acquisition, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not made publicly available include the following.

Defense Acquisitions: How DOD Acquires Weapon Systems and Recent Efforts to Reform the Process, January 2, 2013

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Current Conflicts, December 28, 2012

The Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, January 2, 2013

Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress, January 2, 2013

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress, January 2, 2013

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments, January 2, 2013

Improper Payments and Recovery Audits: Legislation, Implementation, and Analysis, January 2, 2013

The Purple Heart: Background and Issues for Congress, December 31, 2012

Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy, January 2, 2013

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?, January 2, 2013

Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits, December 31, 2012

Federal Benefits and the Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees, December 21, 2012

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act: An Overview of Limiting Tort Liability of Gun Manufacturers, December 20, 2012

The FHA Single-Family Mortgage Insurance Program: Financial Status and Related Current Issues, December 21, 2012

Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview, December 17, 2012

Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress, December 17, 2012

New CRS Reports on Tax Policy

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not made available to the public include the following items on tax policy.

International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications, December 28, 2012

Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives, December 27, 2012

Distributional Effects of Taxes on Corporate Profits, Investment Income, and Estates, December 27, 2012

Tax Deductions for Individuals: A Summary, December 20, 2012

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation, December 26, 2012

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases, December 27, 2012