Issue Position: Crime-Fighting Strategy
John McCain's Plan For Keeping Communities Across America Safe From Crime. Keeping our communities safe from crime begins with supporting state and local law enforcement.
John McCain Recognizes That The Men And Women Of Our Law Enforcement Community Serve On The Front Lines Of America's Struggle Against Crime. The federal government has the responsibility to support state and local law enforcement by handling those responsibilities that federal law enforcement is uniquely qualified to address, by providing the tools and technology that law enforcement need to be effective in the 21st century, and through consistency in the law by appointing federal judges who will follow the Constitution.
Keeping Our Communities Safe
The Federal Government Should Provide State And Local Law Enforcement With The Support That It Is Uniquely Able To Provide:
John McCain Recognizes That Certain Crimes Are Uniquely Suited To Investigation By Federal Authorities Due To Their Sophistication And International--Multi-State Components. These include terrorism, public corruption and the investigation of multi-state and international criminal organizations. Federal law enforcement supports state and local law enforcement by taking responsibility for the investigation of these federal crimes, but recognizes that state and local law enforcement must be equipped to be our first line of defense during an attack on our homeland.
John McCain Will Strengthen Our Laws Against Predators. John McCain is a strong proponent of aggressively pursuing Internet predators, for fully implementing the Adam Walsh Act including lifetime registration for child sexual offenders, and funding the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICACs) that employ many sheriffs' deputies across the nation to track purveyors of child pornography.
During His Over 20 Years In Congress, John McCain Has Made The Protection Of Our Children A Priority. Most recently, John McCain introduced legislation to require convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant message identifiers with the National Sex Offender Registry, and legislation endorsed by the National Sheriffs' Association to increase penalties on commercial Internet web sites that fail to notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when child pornography is found.
John McCain Will Appoint Judges Who Follow The Constitution Rather Than Those Who Engage In Judicial Activism. In doing so, John McCain will provide law enforcement with the certainty and confidence required to make critical decisions knowing that their actions will be judged fairly by the courts in the context of recognized precedent and accepted principles of law.
John McCain Has Fought To Provide First Responders With A National Interoperable Communications System By Proposing The SAVE LIVES Act, Which Would More Than Double The Spectrum Allocated For Public Safety Officials. This need became evident on September 11, 2001 and again during Hurricane Katrina when first responders were unable to convey vital information to each other and to those they sought to protect. John McCain's SAVE LIVES Act would address this critical problem by increasing the amount of spectrum for radio and data communications for first responders and providing additional funding for interoperable communications equipment. The federal government is uniquely able to support the ability of Federal, state and local law enforcement officers in communicating during a national emergency. John McCain will ensure that the Federal Communications Commission allocates spectrum to support state and local interoperability as well as a national public safety interoperable broadband network.
John McCain Has A Long Record Of Supporting Anti-Crime Legislation. He has supported legislation to increase penalties for repeat felons who commit crimes with a firearm, or commit violent crimes on behalf of a criminal gang. He supported improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. And he sought to increase the fines criminals must pay into the Federal Crime Victims Fund and to bar all criminals from profiting from their crimes.
The Practice Of Earmarking Grant Funding For State And Local Law Enforcement Must End And These Funds Must Be Awarded Based Upon Merit And Need:
John McCain Supports Reforming The Process For Funding State And Local Law Enforcement. John McCain supports federal funding for state and local law enforcement; however, rampant earmarking of federal funding to state and local law enforcement has reduced funding to many worthy law enforcement authorities and local jurisdictions. John McCain will restore credibility to these grant programs by ensuring funding is based on need and provided to the most worthy jurisdictions based on a peer-review of grant applications.
The Federal Government Must Solicit, Evaluate, And Fund Innovative Policies, Technology, And Programs Which Help Law Enforcement Protect Us In The 21st Century:
John McCain Is Committed To Identifying And Supporting Additional Technological Advances That Will Improve The Effectiveness Of State And Local Law Enforcement And Save Lives. John McCain will support and encourage development of technology designed to strengthen our national defense against cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism.
John McCain Will Ensure Sufficient Resources Are Allocated Toward Developing Uniform Technical Standards And The Compatibility Of Public Technology And Safety Networks Used Across Jurisdictions. Under a McCain Administration, the Department of Homeland Security's SAFECOM office will be sufficiently funded, authorized and equipped to bring together local, state and federal first responders to ensure our front line of defense in our nation's homeland security have a say in the technical standards developed by the federal government. SAFECOM will also be responsible for working with all local, state and federal agencies to implement a national interoperable communications strategy for all first responders.
Fostering Prisoner Reintroduction And Assistance Programs Is Essential To Reducing Recidivism:
John McCain Supported The Second Chance Act Which Authorized Up To $360 Million For Reentry Services In 2009 And 2010. Last year, approximately 750,000 inmates were released from custody and returned to our communities, and typically one-half will return to incarceration. The Second Chance Act funds programs, many of them faith-based, which prepare prisoners for the transition from prison to society by providing job training, counseling, mentors, counseling, and more. Some programs report reducing recidivism rates by 50 percent. These programs could save American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. On average, the annual cost of incarcerating a prisoner exceeds $20,000 - a number that increased six-fold between 1982 and 2002. John McCain believes we should support having parents with children in the home rather than in prison, former prisoners working and paying taxes, and citizens contributing rather than taking from the community.
The Federal Government Should Shoulder The Responsibility For Detaining, Prosecuting And Deporting Illegal Aliens Who Commit Crimes And Secure The Border To Prevent Their Reentry:
John McCain Will Expand The Criminal Alien Program To Require That The Federal Government Assume A Greater Portion Of The Costs Of Detaining And Deporting Criminal Aliens. The Criminal Alien Program identifies criminal aliens serving sentences in American jails prior to their release, and takes the legal steps necessary to document their status and secure deportation at the time of release, preventing the release of these criminal aliens back onto American streets. John McCain will expand this program to provide state and local officials with access to the information to identify criminal aliens in state or local custody prior to their release. John McCain believes that state and local governments should not be saddled with the cost of fixing a problem created by the federal government's failure to secure the border, specifically, states and local governments should not be left with the burden of dealing with the high costs and extensive regulation associated with deportation proceedings.
John McCain's Administration Will Facilitate Training And Seek Cross-Designation Of State And Local Prosecutors To Handle The Legal Proceedings Required To Expedite Deportation. Proceedings are often delayed due to lack of information or resources. These proposals for access to information and cross-designation will help to fill that gap.
John McCain Will Continue To Support State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Funding To State And Locals To Defray The Cost Local Governments Incur For Imprisonment Of Criminal Aliens. John McCain supports SCAAP funding because it is the duty of the federal government to secure our borders and prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US. When the federal government fails to do so, it must bear a portion of the cost of imprisoning those illegal aliens who commit crimes. Currently, state and local governments are reimbursed for about 25 percent of their costs.
John McCain Will Require That Federal Prosecutors Seek The Highest Priority For Criminal Aliens In Immigration Proceedings. Currently, the courts do not give priority to criminal aliens in deportation proceedings.