The Past, Present, and Future of Violent Crime Federalism

Daniel C. Richman, Columbia Law School


The goal of this article is to show intergovernmental relations at a crossroads. For two decades, the net costs of the federal interaction with state and local governments in the criminal area were absorbed nationally, with the benefits felt locally. Now, the federal commitment to terrorism prevention, and the role federal authorities envision state and local agencies playing in this endeavor demand certain sacrifices and offer uncertain rewards. Precisely where we will go from here remains to be seen, but this, somewhat impressionistic essay is an attempt look back to where we have been and to chart the course we seem to be on.