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United States Department of Justice, Justice Department, law enforcement, criminal justice, bureaucracy


This is a brief contribution to an issue of The Federal Sentencing Reporter directed to criminal justice policy discussions relevant to the 2008 election season. The United States Department of Justice is a uniquely valuable domestic institution. After a period of stunning ascendancy at the end of the last century, the institution has faltered—perhaps as much from strategic neglect as from deliberate diversion of its mission in service of political and foreign policy objectives that most Americans have concluded were misguided. A twenty-first-century executive branch should set as a priority thoughtful consideration of how to confine the powerful tools of federal criminal enforcement to the pressing social harms that justify their existence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bureaucracy, Department of Justice, Law enforcement, Administration of criminal justice, United States