Federal vs. State Policy

A public policy is the body of principles that underpin the operation of legal systems in each state. In this paper I am going to talk about federal along with state policies. I will discuss each of the policies and how they are similar and how they are different.

Federal and State policies are made to help keep our Country running smoothly. If there were no policies then keeping our Country safe would be a hard task. Policies are principles that are set to help make our Country operate on a daily bases.I like to think of it as rules that are set to keep our Country safe; because if there were no rules then everyone would be doing their own thing which could cause for a very disorganized situation. We see police officers out on the streets making sure that everyone is abiding by the laws that are set. Noadays there are laws against speeding, talking on cell phones while driving, texting while driving along with murder, kidnapping and many more laws. These laws where not always in place they were added as they were needed and once they were made a law they have always stayed that way.

If we look at cell phones for instance this is a somewhat new thing and that state officers are seeing that there are problems with the use of cell phones. Slowly but surely states are making laws to ban cell phone usage while driving to help keep citizen safe from individuals who lack concentration while driving. The federal government never viewed themselves as the group that would be responsible for crime within the United States. The federal government would have a role when it came to extreme criminal behavior. Crimes such as bank robbery, kidnapping, and tax evasion would be crimes that they would be involved in (Marion & Oliver, 2006). The federal government is always there to help the state police agencies when they need the help or assistance in the criminal justice organization. What role does the Federal Government play in the policy making processes? The federal government “can regulate a virtually unlimited range of activities believed to contribute to street crime (assault, rape, robbery, burglary, drug dealing, murder) white-collar crime (fraud, deceptive usiness practices, illegal financial transations).

The federal government has been more involved in the control of policy within the past 40 years (Marion & Oliver, 2006). The federal government is able to regulate crime within certain areas. The federal government has certain units that are responsible for certain types of criminal activities. The federal government is able to come up with the policy. They can write it and they can provide the finance that is needed to implement the policy. They are able to encourage the local along with state agencies to enforce or follow the policy.

The federal government along with state agenvcies need to work together to make the policies to beome a law. If congress passes a federal law then the federal agencies are able to enforce that law. If it is federal then they are able to take action but if it is not federal then they need to local and state agencies to go out and enforce the policies. The important thing to keep in mind is that full and complete understanding of the policy needs to be made clear to all who will be responsible for enforing the policy or law. The federal government is huge we all are aware of that.If we look at it from a business point of view they are the biggest out there. With this said because they are huge it makes it so that they are able to “provide human, financial, and informational resources….

and is in a unique position to coordinate…. interjurisdictional anticrime plans (Marion & Oliver, 2006 p. 354). ” This is were the federal government is most powerful. I life money is power and lets face it the federal government has a lot of it. This makes it so that the federal government has a huge impact on the criminal justice system. We see how the federal government gives grants to local and state police agencies and these fund help to fight crime.

The federal government helps tremendously when it comes to the United State fighting crime. Providing funds to police agencies makes and has made big changes in policing and we can thank the federal government for providing this aspect. State agenies and policies are complex to say the least. Unlike federal government the state dose not have the “control over the functioning of theses agencies (Marion & Oliver, 2006 p. 356). The state however can set policies along with procedures that the law enforcement agency is to follow. The state level is also able to set standards for training, certification along with recertification all of these local law enforcement is required to follow what the state sets.

The state also is a go between so to speak for the local and federal agencies. If there are grants for instance it may be given to the state and then the state will pass it on to the local agenicies. I like to think of policies as pre laws they are not a law yet but they are on there way. Federal and State are ableto set policies and enforce policies. State has local law enforcement to enfocrce the laws. If it is a law the the federal government needs to enforce they are able to do so. If a crime is specialize that Congress has past then the federal government is able to enforce that policy.

Also the federal government has the power to provide funding to the state to help them enforce a policy. They are like a big business that has the man power along with the funds needed to make big things happen and to make pivotal change in a business.The federal government has the ability to make big changes in the criminal justice system because of the funds and grants that they are able to supply so that the state can enforce the policies. At the same time the state does not have the same power that the federal government has. The state is able to put forth their own policies and enforce them but the federal government has more abilities then that of the state.


  1. Marion, N. E., & Oliver, W. M. (2006). The public policy of crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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