H.R.446 - National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2013
To establish the National Criminal Justice Commission.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(3) that commission, in a span of 18 months, produced a comprehensive report entitled ‘The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society,’ which contained 200 specific recommendations on all aspects of the criminal justice system involving Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, civic organizations, religious institutions, business groups, and individual citizens; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) developments over the intervening 45 years require once again that Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, civic organizations, religious institutions, business groups, and individual citizens come together to review evidence and consider how to improve the criminal justice system.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.
SEC. 4. PURPOSE OF THE COMMISSION.
The Commission shall undertake a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system, encompassing current Federal, State, local, and tribal criminal justice policies and practices, and make reform recommendations for the President, Congress, State, local, and tribal governments.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
(a) General Review- The Commission shall undertake a comprehensive review of all areas of the criminal justice system, including Federal, State, local, and tribal governments’ criminal justice costs, practices, and policies.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Findings and Recommendations- After conducting a review of the United States criminal justice system as required by section 5(a), the Commission shall make findings regarding such review and recommendations for changes in oversight, policies, practices, and laws designed to prevent, deter, and reduce crime and violence, reduce recidivism, improve cost-effectiveness, and ensure the interests of justice at every step of the criminal justice system.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) State and Local Government- In making its recommendations, the Commission should consider the financial and human resources of State and local governments. Recommendations shall not infringe on the legitimate rights of the States to determine their own criminal laws or the enforcement of such laws.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) closely consult with Federal, State, local, and tribal government and nongovernmental leaders, including State, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, legislators, public health officials, judges, court administrators, prosecutors, defense counsel, victims’ rights organizations, probation and parole officials, criminal justice planners, criminologists, civil rights and liberties organizations, formerly incarcerated individuals, professional organizations, and corrections officials; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION- To the extent the review and recommendations required by this section relate to sentencing policies and practices for the Federal criminal justice system, the Commission shall conduct such review and make such recommendations in consultation with the United States Sentencing Commission.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) REPORT- Not later than 18 months after the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall prepare and submit a final report that contains a detailed statement of findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission to Congress, the President, State, local, and tribal governments.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) GOAL OF UNANIMITY- It is the sense of the Congress that, given the national importance of the matters before the Commission, the Commission should work toward unanimously supported findings and recommendations.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) VOTES ON RECOMMENDATIONS IN REPORT- Consistent with paragraph (2), the Commission shall state the vote total for each recommendation contained in its report to Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. MEMBERSHIP.
(2) One member shall be appointed by the leader of the Senate (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Republican Party, in consultation with the leader of the House of Representatives (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Republican Party, who shall serve as co-chairman of the Commission.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Two members shall be appointed by the senior member of the Senate leadership of the Democratic Party, in consultation with the Democratic leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) Two members shall be appointed by the senior member of the Senate leadership of the Republican Party, in consultation with the Republican leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Two members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the House of Representatives of the Republican Party, in consultation with the Republican leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Two members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the House of Representatives of the Democratic Party, in consultation with the Democratic leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) Two members, who shall be State and local representatives, shall be appointed by the President in agreement with leader of the Senate (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Republican Party and the leader of the House of Representatives (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Republican Party.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) Two members, who shall be State and local representatives, shall be appointed by the President in agreement with leader of the Senate (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Democratic Party and the leader of the House of Representatives (majority or minority leader, as the case may be) of the Democratic Party.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) QUALIFICATIONS- The individuals appointed from private life as members of the Commission shall be individuals with distinguished reputations for integrity and nonpartisanship who are nationally recognized for expertise, knowledge, or experience in such relevant areas as--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) DISQUALIFICATION- An individual shall not be appointed as a member of the Commission if such individual possesses any personal financial interest in the discharge of any of the duties of the Commission.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) FIRST MEETING- The Commission shall hold its first meeting on the date that is 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, or not later than 30 days after the date on which funds are made available for the Commission, whichever is later.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ETHICS- At the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall draft appropriate ethics guidelines for commissioners and staff, including guidelines relating to conflict of interest and financial disclosure. The Commission shall consult with the Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary as a part of drafting the guidelines and furnish the Committees with a copy of the completed guidelines.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) QUORUM- Eight members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for purposes of conducting business, except that 2 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for purposes of receiving testimony.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) VACANCIES- Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. If vacancies in the Commission occur on any day after 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Commission as of such day, so long as at least 1 Commission member chosen by a member of each party, Republican and Democratic, is present.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) DELEGATION- Any member, agent, or staff of the Commission may, if authorized by the co-chairs of the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take pursuant to this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. ADMINISTRATION.
(1) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR- The Commission shall have a staff headed by an Executive Director. The Executive Director shall be paid at a rate established for the Certified Plan pay level for the Senior Executive Service under
(2) APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION- The co-chairs of the Commission shall designate and fix the compensation of the Executive Director and, in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under
(A) IN GENERAL- The Executive Director and any personnel of the Commission who are employees shall be employees under
(4) THE COMPENSATION OF COMMISSIONERS- Each member of the Commission may be compensated at not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under
(5) TRAVEL EXPENSES- While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under
(b) Experts and Consultants- With the approval of the Commission, the Executive Director may procure temporary and intermittent services under
(c) Detail of Government Employees- Upon the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may detail, without reimbursement, any of the personnel of such agency to the Commission to assist in carrying out the duties of the Commission. Any such detail shall not interrupt or otherwise affect the civil service status or privileges of the Federal employee.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Other Resources- The Commission shall have reasonable access to materials, resources, statistical data, and other information such Commission determines to be necessary to carry out its duties from the Library of Congress, the Department of Justice, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Department of State, and other agencies of the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. The co-chairs of the Commission shall make requests for such access in writing when necessary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Volunteer Services- Notwithstanding the provisions of
(f) Obtaining Official Data- The Commission may secure directly from any agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon the request of the co-chairs of the Commission, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission. The Commission shall not have access to sensitive information regarding ongoing investigations.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(h) Administrative Reporting- The Commission shall issue biannual status reports to Congress regarding the use of resources, salaries, and all expenditures of appropriated funds.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) Contracts- The Commission is authorized to enter into contracts with Federal and State agencies, private firms, institutions, and individuals for the conduct of activities necessary to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities. A contract, lease or other legal agreement entered into by the Commission may not extend beyond the date of the termination of the Commission.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(k) Administrative Assistance- The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act. These administrative services may include human resource management, budget, leasing, accounting, and payroll services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) ADMINISTRATION- All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public, except that a meeting or any portion of it may be closed to the public if it concerns matters or information described in
(B) MINUTES AND PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- Minutes of each open meeting shall be kept and shall contain a record of the people present, a description of the discussion that occurred, and copies of all statements filed. The minutes and records of all open meetings and other documents that were made available to or prepared for the Commission shall be available for public inspection and copying at a single location in the offices of the Commission.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(m) Archiving- Not later than the date of termination of the Commission, all records and papers of the Commission shall be delivered to the Archivist of the United States for deposit in the National Archives.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General- There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 such sums as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act, not to exceed $7,000,000 per year for each fiscal year, and not more than $14,000,000 total. None of the funds appropriated under this Act may be utilized for international travel.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink