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22 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 707 (1984-1985)
An Overview of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 - The Prosecutor's Perspective

handle is hein.journals/amcrimlr22 and id is 723 raw text is: AN OVERVIEW OF THE COMPREHENSIVE CRIME CONTROL ACT
Joseph E. diGenova* and Constance L. Belfiore**
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984' contains the most significant
series of changes in the federal criminal justice system ever enacted at one time. Its
enactment marked the culmination of an eleven year bipartisan effort to revamp the
federal criminal code. Its implementation will constitute a major step towards
establishing a fair and sensible balance in the criminal justice system between the
rights of the public as a whole and the criminal defendants.
In general, the Act provides prosecutors with a new set of tools for combatting
crime; yet procedural safeguards built into the new provisions assure that the defen-
dant's rights are not offended.2 Concern for the crime victim also permeates the new
Act, which requires that the victim's needs be identified and considered at the time
of sentencing, in imposing fines and restitution,3 and in granting reimbursement
through compensation programs.4 The overall impact of the Act is to advance the
fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system's operation, and to achieve
real advances in the safety and well-being of the public.
The major highlights of the Act include stricter bail requirements which incor-
porate considerations of dangerousness into pretrial detention decisions;5 sentenc-
ing reform which includes a determinate sentencing system,6 enhanced penalties,7
*Joseph E. diGenova received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1967 and his J.D. from
Georgetown University School of Law in 1970. Mr. diGenova is currently the United States Attorney for
the District of Columbia.
**Constance L. Belfiore received her B.A. from Kirkland and Hamilton Colleges in 1973 and her J.D.
from Catholic University School of Law in 1976. Ms. Belfiore is the Special Assistant to the United States
Attorney for the District of Columbia and Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.
The authors acknowledge with gratitude the assistance of their law clerk, Beth King, in researching this
1. Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-473, reprinted in 1984 U.S. CODE
CoN o. & AD. NEWS (98 Stat.) 1837.
2. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C.A. § 3142(f) (West Supp. 1985) (detention hearing procedures); 18 U.S.C.A. §
3553(d) (West Supp. 1985) (sentencing procedure); 18 U.S.C.A. § 3563(b) (West Supp. 1985) (conditions
of probation); 18 U.S.C.A. § 3582(b),(c) (West Supp. 1985) (imposition of imprisonment).
3. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3572(a) (West Supp. 1985).
4. Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-473, §§ 1401-04, 98 Stat. 1837, 2170-75
(Chapter XIV - Victim Compensation and Assistance).
5. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3142 (West Supp. 1985).
6. 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 3551-59 (West Supp. 1985).
7. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3559.

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