Prepare, Sustain, Thrive and Survive Simply

Crime Pays in the US

It’s so easy to become a criminal in the Federal Enclave, you might not even know it happened!

A nation that cashes in on criminal activity in the name of justice is sick to the core because it has incentive to criminalize an array of activities that may be irritating but have no victims.   Both US government workers and private enterprises flourish from such “crimes” in a variety of ways — and the more the better for them. Here is  a look at one small example of how criminalization feeds the socialist/fascist agenda.

How Crime Pays in the USA
elderIf you’ve ever seen a poster like the one at right, chances are, it was financed by petty criminal activity within a federal enclave like a national forest.

Did you know that the “petty criminal activity” of  walking your dog without a leash on federal government property may be a federal offense? Same with driving around the backwoods in a national forest without your seat belt fastened. That’s punishable with up to six months in jail and a fine. If caught doing these things and more, you will get a citation that looks like a traffic ticket. At this point you are stepping into the nebulous and unpredictable world of the Central Violations Bureau, under the auspices of top federal judges in the United States. Did you even know such a thing exists?

Think You Have Rights? Watch Your Step in the Federal Enclave
Several complications come into play in the federal enclave. For one, criminal law is applied according to where an offense is committed. State law applies unless you are in the federal zone. But if there is no federal law covering the offense, (such as a traffic violation), then state law kicks in — unless you’re in an area overseen by a federal agency with codified rules of its own.

You May Be a Federal Criminal If…
If you pay the ticket, you may be admitting to a federal offense, depending on what jurisdiction you’re in. Some district courts have held that the act of paying a ticket is admission of having committed a crime, others have not. The thing is, in most of America, when you’re accused of a crime, certain rights kick in, like the right to know you’ve been accused and who the accuser is, the right to remain silent, the right to a trial, and an attorney. Not so in the hazy world of the Central Violations Bureau. Their citations don’t say you’re accused of a crime. And if you are instructed to appear in district court for the alleged offense, you can expect it to operate under “abbreviated procedures” intentionally kept “flexible” so magistrates handling these petty federal offenses can “improvise.” In other words, you may not have access to an attorney.

For an explanation of the finer points of petty crimes on federal land, see Trials and Tribulations of Petty Offenses in the Federal Courts, NYU Law Review.

Abbreviated and Flexible Improvising by Judges
Huh? I thought we were a nation operating under predictable laws. What happened to the Bill of Rights? Some of us are still kind of depending on them. On the other hand, if you’re like a lot of US citizens today, who have proven to be without a clue about what these are, like these college students, it won’t make much difference.

It’s Happening a Thousand Times a Day
One thousand of these citations are issued on an average day in America. Most people pay the fine just to put the unpleasant incident behind them. In so doing, they may unwittingly be signing up for criminal status that will haunt them for five years. That’s how long the Bureau retains the records. Imagine a person’s surprise when a routine background check identifies them as a federal criminal and they haven’t even been to court!

The Silver Lining Is This: Your Money Is Going to a Good Cause
Maybe it will make you feel better to know that every cent collected from these citations is supposedly distributed to unfortunate battered women, abused children, and victims of things like human trafficking, elder abuse, and identity theft, according to a public relations piece released by the Central Violations Bureau.

But the picture isn’t quite so rosy on the Office for Victims of Crime Web site, where you can find out how to get a slice of the CVBs booty through its grant programs. It says Congress put a cap on funding for “crime victims” starting in the year 2000. The cash must be going somewhere, but of course it doesn’t say where. I have a feeling most of the largess that is redistributed is not flowing into the wallets of victims.

Funding for a campaign to raise awareness
Instead of going to victims, the money will more likely go into an account to raise awareness about victims, such as the National Crime Victims Rights Week, which used several hundred thousand dollars to make posters, a website, and resource booklet. Problem is, mindless so-called “progressives” will blindly cheer this on and get the warm fuzzies about it.

The Office for Victims of Crime awarded more than $29 million of the victims’ money to “discretionary funds to demonstration projects, research, evaluation, training, and technical assistance, in support of its mission to enhance the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices regarding justice and healing for all victims of crime” in fiscal year 2012. More posters, booklets, and Web sites? Hey, I’m in the business of posters, booklets, and Web sites, so I, of all people should be supporting this program.

In addition to these discretionary grants, OVC awarded more than $557 million in “formula grants” to support actual crime victims — supposedly. To see the Crime Victims Fund Compensation and Assistance Allocations for the fiscal year 2012, go to the Formula Grants section of the OVC Web site. There is a searchable and sortable table where grantees are listed by program, organization, award amount, duration, and service area.

Petty Offenses Fund Very Expensive Posters Like This

stalk posterThe National Center for Victims of Crime received $333,659 for two years to create a poster, print resource guide, a CD ROM, DVD, and public service announcements. I could do a lot of good with $333,000.

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, along with seven national collaborative partners, got $250,000 to conduct “a literature review and hold a national forum on the exploration of late life polyvictimization and its most promising solutions. From these, a curriculum will be developed, including a high-quality video series with written training materials and a dedicated e-training website.” It must be nice not be one of the victims needing the money.

Now here’s an example of how some of this money actually trickles down to victims: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors received $250,000 to establish the “Court-Martial Observer Program – Fort Hood, to provide travel assistance to the family members of the soldiers killed during the November 5, 2009 mass violence incident at Fort Hood, Texas, to allow them to be present during a portion of the court-martial of Major Nidal M. Hasan.” Thirty-three people were killed or injured at the shooting. That equals $7,576 in travel expenses for each family.

If this whole program rubs you wrong, don’t worry. It’s just the tip of an iceberg in a glacial sea of money distribution around the United States in the name of freedom and justice for all.

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