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Criminal Justice Agency FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is an agency of the United States of America. The agency belongs to the Department of Justice of the United States of America. The FBI has different bodies in operation in the country. The main bodies include the internal intelligence agency, which deals with counterintelligence as well as federal criminal investigative bodies. The FBI is also responsible for investigations of crimes that happen in reservations of the Native Americans of the USA. This provision was provided under the Major Crimes Act.
The FBI is responsible for crimes that are considered to be Federal Crimes in the country. These are the crimes that the government has established to be under the jurisdiction of the agency. There are about two hundred crimes that fall under this category in the country. The agency can investigate these crimes, make arrests as well as provide evidence in court to support the due process for the suspects arrested.
History of the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been in existence in the country for more than a century. Its establishment took place in 1908. At that time, the bureau was known as the Bureau of Investigations (BOI). The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation later in 1935. The headquarters of the FBI are in Washington, D.C. They are in the J. Edgar Hoover Building.
The bureau also has different field offices that are located all over the country. These offices coordinate activities of the bureau in specific regions and counties. There are a total of sixty-six field offices that are spread in all the major cities of the country. The bureau started as an investigative body for crimes in the country. Currently, it has two major bodies with different resident agencies in cities in the US. These resident agencies are more than 400 with each resident agency having jurisdiction in a certain region.
The United States has existed for a long time after independence without an agency that was tasked specifically with investigations. However, the members of the Congress in 1908 raised a motion in the parliament objecting to the lack of an investigative body. This influenced then the attorney general Charles Bonaparte, who issued an executive order that created an investigative body in the Justice Department.
The BOI was faced with some controversies after its formation. This was especially after the United States entered into World War I. The bureau started looking for draft dodgers. In those investigations, it took in thousands of young men from all over the country. The embarrassing fact was that only a few of the men rounded up were actually genuine draft dodgers. The bureau was also faced with a task to raid for alien radicals. This was in 33 cities across the US. This operation was known as Palmer Raids, and it took place after World War. Most of the tens of thousands of radicals were arrested without warrants, which was the main reason why they were soon released even before standing before the court of law (Weiner, 2013).
This was where J Edgar Hoover was adopted as a renowned lawyer from the justice department, who was against those arrests. Hoover was selected into the bureau to clean its name. This was after the resignation of Attorney General Harry Daughterty after the bureau was faced with continued scandals. Hoover remained the director of the FBI up to his death in 1972.
The bureau gained the support of American citizens during the 1930s. This was after vigorous publicizing efforts and public relations programs pioneered by Hoover. The efforts were successful, especially because they were supported by the arrests of gangsters, who were known all over the country. The reputation of the FBI as an investigative agency that is successful and known in the world overcame to grow, especially during the Cold War against the USSR and World War II. Its reputation grew to a premier investigative as well as an enforcement agency. Its popularity would later come to diminish in 1971.
The Ku Klux Clan and CoINTEL
This was after internal documents were stolen from one of the FBI offices. The files were for the post-Watergate Congressional investigations as, well as the Media pa. The investigations and documents were proof that Hoover had invested most of the bureau resources in the agency staff not for enforcement purposes, but rather for political purposes. The FBI later came up with the Counter-Intelligence body. This body's main aim was to counter the Ku Klux Clan, a communist party in the country.
The unit was known as CoINTEL and was also targeted by political activists such as Martin Luther King. There were also student protestors who were against the war in Vietnam as well as liberation movements for women. The latter tasks were added due to the rising concerns about the information spreading in the country.
The directors who came after Hoover was tasked with establishing the bureau as an efficient investigative body in the country. This was after it had lost its popularity in the country. The directors included Judge William Webster and Clarence Kelley. These directors were all from the Department of Justice. The change of guard in the bureau occurred in 1993. This was after then-president Bill Clinton appointed a federal prosecutor, who was a former FBI agent, as the director.
The bureau had faced several problems during this period. There were numerous concerns about the country such as the one at the Waco and Ruby bridge. The FBI was also questioned after uncovering shortcomings in the bureau's national laboratory. The bureau was later questioned on the investigations it carried out concerning the 9/11 attacks in the country (Kessler, 2003). A senior agent in the bureau with the name of Robert Hensen was also convicted of espionage. Robert S. Mueller III was later named the director by President Bush in September of 2001.
Mueller was respected all over the country, especially due to his career as a US attorney. The director led the bureau after the 9/11 attacks. He has also played a key role in influencing the current position of the bureau. The director has changed the bureau from focusing on criminal investigations to where it targets counterintelligence. This is a larger part of its current operations other than dealing with criminal prosecution as it traditionally did.
Goals and Objectives of the FBI
The main goal of the FBI is to defend and protect the United States. It also aims to uphold and enforce the laws that have been set in the United States of America. The FBI aims at providing criminal justice and leadership services to municipal, state, federal, and international partners and agencies. One of the main priorities is to protect the country from terrorism and terrorist attacks for the counter-terrorism unit. It also protects the country against operations by foreign intelligence and espionage. In addition, the bureau is tasked with protecting the United States and its citizens against high-technology crimes as well as cyber-based attacks that may be launched against the country.
The bureau also combats white-collar crime as well as corruption in the country. It is also aimed at combating national and transnational criminal enterprises and organizations as well as significant violent crimes. This has made it a significant investigation and solving of different cases in the country. As of September of 2007, the bureau had leading 110 bank robbery cases and 105 drug cases that year. The bureau had other leading cases on conspiracy and attempt, sexual exploitation of minors, mail frauds and swindles, illegal gambling, fraud by radio, television, and wire, extortion, and robbery affecting commerce between states, corrupt organizations as well as racketeering (Fine 2009).
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
The mandate of the FBI is found in Title 28 of the US Code. This is in Section 533, and it allows the Attorney General and gives him the authority to detect and appoint officials to prosecute crimes in the country. These are crimes that happen against the United States. There are also other statutes in the US Code that give the bureau the jurisdiction and authority to investigate several crimes. There are provisions in the constitution that favor the bureau's operations in the country. Such a policy is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
This act has played a key role against organized crime in the country by the bureau. The other provision supporting the bureau is the Civil Rights Act that was formulated in 1964. This Act ensures that the FBI has the responsibility to protect the civil rights of US citizens. It investigates and prosecutes the violations of the Civil Rights Act. The prosecution is initiated by the United States Department of Justice. The Controlled Substances Act supports the fight against illegal drugs and substances in the country. In the fight against controlled substances, the bureau shares the jurisdiction with the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States.
The US Patriot Act
There are also provisions in the US code that support counterintelligence in the country. The US Patriot Act is the main provision that increased the authority of the bureau in the monitoring of activity on the Internet as well as wiretapping. This is the most controversial activity of the FBI with questions on its actions to collect intelligence. The most controversial one is the sneak and peeks provision, which grants the bureau the authority to search one's residence when the owner is absent. It does not require investigators from the FBI to notify the residents not only before the search but also several weeks after the search. Other acts support the collection of intelligence by the bureau including the Patriot Act.
This allegedly allows the FBI to look into the library records, especially for those suspected of involvement in terrorism activities in the country. The last time that this was allowed was as early as in the 1970s. The bureau claimed that this provision allowed this without necessarily citing the word library from the act. Otherwise, the bureau has been required to produce a court order before searching for one's library records. The bureau works hand in hand with the department of the US Attorney or officials from the Department Of Justice in determining whether a certain case can be prosecuted in court.
To achieve its objectives, the bureau works with other federal agencies in the country. Such an agency is the US Coast Guard. This is in operations that happen in the territorial waters of the country. The FBI also works hand in hand with the US Customs and Border Protection, which is essential, especially in airport security and seaports. This helps in ensuring the security of the country from the borders.
The bureau also investigates critical incidents and plane crashes in the country. This is in collaboration with the National Transportation Safety Board. The division of Homeland Security Investigations, known as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE-his), has the jurisdiction and authority close to the FBI investigation regarding the largest range of crimes in the country. It has joined the FBI to form a joint task force against terrorism in the country. This was after being given the joint assignment by AG Ashcroft after the 9/11 attacks.
The bureau is not tasked with investigations of all the crimes in the country. Some crimes that are outside its jurisdiction are those that involve or are committed by satanic cults. Other crimes are those that are committed or regard by police agencies. The bureau does not respond to such matters, since it has no authority over them.
The FBI has formed several units to allow it to protect the United States. These efforts have been specifically aimed at curbing major crimes and terrorism in the country. One of the units that have had a lot of success in the country is the Hostage Rescue Team. This is an elite unite of the FBI, which was formed as early as the 1980s after several attacks were launched in different Olympic Games across the world.
There were Olympic Games that happened in Los Angeles in 1984. The FBI trained a tactical unit to respond to hostage situations such as the one that happened in Munich Olympic Games, Germany. The Hostage Rescue Team is the unit that leads the national SWAT team in all hostage and terrorist cases. These units have been able to curb significant counter-terrorism cases with special procedures. The team is led by a negotiator from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team who ensures that all hostages are released with the minimum damages possible. The Computer Analysis Response Team is also another elite unit that was created to lead the FBI through counter-intelligence operations. This has enabled the bureau to fulfill its goals and objectives.
The FBI made violent crimes on top of its priorities in the 1990s. This was after 300 agents were moved from the counter-intelligence units to violent crimes. This made violent crimes the sixth priority in the country. After the Cold War, the bureau did not recognize terrorism as a great threat to the country. Thus, the bureau introduced new departments to fight against violent crimes and channeled finances earlier meant for counter-terrorism operations. Thus, the bureau was overly successful in tracking fugitives in the country. It liaised with other local police departments in different states to track and pursue fugitives across different states.
This also led to the development of laboratories in the country. The bureau currently has different developed laboratories across various states that assist the local police departments in the crime investigation. These laboratories have DNA testing, which has improved crime investigation. This has assisted in creating both the DNA and dental databases for different people in the country, as well as determining one's DNA during the criminal investigation. These databases as well as the fingerprinting system that has been there since 1024 have helped develop criminal investigations in the country.
The FBI has also made specific developments in the Counter-terrorism unit, especially in the late 1990s. This was after the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993, as well as the Oklahoma bombing in 1995. The bureau made investigative efforts in the area with an arrest of the Unabomber, which happened in 1996. The development and innovation in technology, as well as qualifications of laboratory analysts across the country, assisted in the investigation into terrorist activities. These have assisted in successful arrests and prosecution of terrorists in the late and early 1990s.
The FBI has also increased its electronic surveillance with the role of ensuring public safety in the country. The formulation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 along with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has assisted in the achievement of goals and increased the jurisdiction for the bureau. The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 also enhanced the authority the FBI has over crimes, involving commerce between states. The bureau also updated its technology in 1988 with upgrades every year or with the introduction of new technology in the market.
Furthermore, the bureau is highly equipped to deal with Internet-related crimes with the National Infrastructure Protection Program as well as the Computer Investigation and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center. Such problems that the bureau has successfully solved involve computer worms, viruses, and malicious programs targeted against the US. The bureau has achieved its goal to ensure public safety and national security through increased electronic surveillance as well as adaptations to advancements in communications, which change future problems (Calbom, 2006).
Indian Country Crimes Unit (ICCU)
The FBI is also tasked with the investigation and prosecution of crimes that happen in the Indian reservations. The bureau recognizes about 565 Indian tribes in the country. It also has responsibility for about 200 reservations for these tribes. There is a bureau of Indian Affairs, which works hand in hand with the FBI and the Office of Justice Services to share the jurisdiction for the Indian reservations. The criminal investigation department of the FBI and the Indian Country Crimes Unit (ICCU) are both responsible for the formulation and implementation of programs, policies, and strategies that address crimes in the Indian Country, which is under the jurisdiction of the FBI.
The crimes in the Native American lands are the task of the FBI. However, it does not place these crimes as a part of its priorities. It has been investigating these crimes poorly with inadequate prosecution. Serious crimes in the Native American lands have been happening unnoticed. The tribal laws have only put in place three months of sentences in prison and other restrictions in the community. The FBI has left the police from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to handle matters in the reservations.
This lies under the US Department of the Interior, which undertakes investigations in these reservations with the tribal police having limited jurisdictions over all the crimes that are committed in their regions. However, it has been able to fulfill most of its goals and objectives.
Suggestions for Improving the FBI
After reviewing the relationship between long-term goals and objectives with the annual performance of the FBI, one can come up with some suggestions for improving the bureau. The bureau continues to make progress in its efforts to transform and guide its operations. The strategies that the FBI needs to adopt should be applied to achieve certain levels of professionalism.
The topmost strategy needs to ensure that the top leaders are the ones that should drive the transformation. The top leaders of any organization are the ones who are responsible for driving it to success. This is because a strong leader ensures that the members who are subordinate to him/her are following the organization's mission to achieve its objectives. The FBI should use similar strategies used by local police departments. Police departments use people, who have risen above the ranks as the top leaders of departments.
The FBI should also apply similar strategies with leaders coming from the best officers in the bureau. This will ensure that the leaders understand all the operational procedures of the FBI. These leaders will also focus on the development of appropriate strategies in the investigation and prosecution of crimes other than focusing excessively on the political popularity of the bureau. Such a problem happened with director Hoover. He focused much on popularizing the bureau rather than focusing on the FBI agents to ensure that they carry out their tasks appropriately (Cumming & Masse, 2007).
The second strategy should be establishing a coherent mission to guide the transformation of the bureau towards becoming better in service delivery. A committee from the top leaders of the FBI as well as members of the Justice Department and Congress should come up with strategic goals, which will guide the FBI in its transformation. The bureau has made several changes and ignored some parts of the investigation which have led to several attacks in their jurisdiction.
An example is a focus on violent crimes by the bureau in the early 1990s. The big mistake was ignoring the counter-intelligence and terrorism units in the country, which led to those attacks. The bureau also ignored several warnings and intelligence from different sources before the 9/11 attacks.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) together with the FBI ignored the intelligence that suggested the possibility of such terrorist attacks on American soil. This shows that the FBI has not established principles and coherent missions that it should seek to accomplish. The decisions on which forms of investigations pursue and which types of crimes pose a danger to the Americans are still not taken appropriately.
Thus, the bureau should consider this in its efforts to improve. The FBI should set up an effective analysis unit to determine the intelligence that carries much weight and poses a great threat to the country. This will ensure that it can stop crimes before they happen rather than focusing on investigations of a crime after it has already happened.
Most government agencies lack timelines for the implementation of policies they have identified. This makes them lack the momentum required to enable progress and show improvements as early as the implementation begins. The FBI should set its goals with a timeline and proper implementation to allow changes to be realized from the beginning. As a government agency whose main task is to protect the citizens of the United States, the FBI should be the most effective program in responding to crimes, collecting intelligence as well as undertaking investigations. The bureau has the government resources at its disposal.
In 2013, the US population has fully accepted and appreciated the presence and roles of the FBI. Therefore, it no longer needs to focus on its political side as much as it should focus on the fight against crime. Different agencies are supposed to work hand in hand with the FBI to achieve its objectives. Therefore, it is high time that the FBI took the advantage of all these resources and relevant publicity. It should set goals that are achievable and set a time when it should achieve them. This will ensure that the public has something to hope for from the agency.
Different stakeholders including private agencies can determine the transformation process of the bureau. With goals that are achievable and have a timeline, it will be possible for team members and other agents in the bureau to be more dedicated to ensure that they collectively achieve them. These teams will organize themselves into manageable teams with innovative methods to combat crimes in the country (United States Government Printing Office, 2000).
The FBI performance management system should be set up in such a way that it can define the responsibilities of members. It should determine the accountability of each member to enhance the change. In performance management, the FBI should identify agents in its employment, who are not performing their tasks appropriately. They should be replaced immediately or other actions for motivations should be put in place. The crime organization in the world today has become more sophisticated.
Most of the criminals have now shifted to the use of sophisticated methods to organize a crime and perform it successfully. This calls for performance management strategies to determine which agents are best suited to investigate or collect intelligence on a certain type of crime. The use of improved technology for communication among criminals and terrorists is also a major concern for criminals all over the world.
Therefore, the FBI should also select qualified agents on counterintelligence to enable them to get the relevant information concerning crimes. There has also been improved information encryption by criminal groups all over the country. This means that the bureau should be more vigilant to ensure that they update their technology more often to enable the decryption of information. The FBI should also encourage the use of safer methods to fight crime. One of the methods that have not been found to work effectively is the use of bureau informants in the criminal world. This is endangering the lives of citizens that the bureau seeks to protect. Thus, it should use other efficient methods such as undercover programs to curb crimes.
The bureau should also have the proper information management procedures to ensure that information does not leak from the bureau or its databases, which might compromise investigations. This way, the bureau will effectively achieve its goals and objectives.
The FBI is the government agency whose main task is to protect the US from attacks as well as carry out investigations on crimes all over the country. The bureau has shown considerable successes in the past in the fight against crime in the country. It has managed to investigate different crimes that have happened in the country, as well as prosecute criminals with the help of the Department of Justice. In addition to this, it has managed to gather information all over the world to prevent large crimes from happening.
However, the bureau is also faced with some challenges. They include information leaks, failed programs, ignoring vital intelligence as well as unsolved cases throughout the decades. The FBI has a chance to start afresh with new strategies to enhance its performance in terms of operations. This way, it will become a world-class organization, which implements the best possible practices for an effective fight against all types of crimes.