Virtual Currencies and Money Laundering: Legal Background, Enforcement Actions, and Legislative Proposals

Virtual Currencies and Money Laundering: Legal Background, Enforcement Actions, and Legislative Proposals. Congressional Research Service.  Jay B. Sykes, Nicole Vanatko. April 3, 2019

Law enforcement officials have described money laundering—the process of making illegally obtained proceeds appear legitimate—as the “lifeblood” of organized crime. Recently, money launderers have increasingly turned to a new technology to conceal the origins of illegally obtained proceeds: virtual currency. Virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple are digital representations of value that, like ordinary currency, function as media of exchange, units of account, and stores of value. However, unlike ordinary currencies, virtual currencies are not legal tender, meaning they cannot be used to pay taxes and creditors need not accept them as payments for debt. While virtual currency enthusiasts tout their technological promise, a number of commentators have contended that the anonymity offered by these new financial instruments makes them an attractive vehicle for money laundering. Law enforcement officials, regulators, and courts have accordingly grappled with how virtual currencies fit into a federal anti-money laundering (AML) regime designed principally for traditional financial institutions.

[PDF format, 17 pages].

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Public Trust and Law Enforcement — A Discussion for Policymakers

Public Trust and Law Enforcement — A Discussion for Policymakers. Congressional Research Service. Nathan James et al. December 13, 2018

Several high-profile incidents where the police have apparently used excessive force against citizens have generated interest in what role Congress could play in facilitating efforts to build trust between the police and the people they serve. This report provides a brief overview of the federal government’s role in police-community relations.

[PDF format, 27 pages].

Access to Justice

Access to Justice. American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dædalus, Winter 2019.

“Access to Justice” – the first open access issue of Dædalus – features twenty-four essays that examine the national crisis in civil legal services facing poor and low-income Americans: from the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, to the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, to the opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies, professional innovations, and fresh ways of thinking about the crisis. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Building beyond Policing: A Case Study of Eden Night Live in Alameda County, California

Building beyond Policing: A Case Study of Eden Night Live in Alameda County, California. Urban Institute. Cameron Okeke. September 25, 2018

 Key takeaway: How community parties have helped California sheriffs rethink public safety

This report describes how the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office used Eden Night Live, a community festival and pop-up marketplace, to creatively reimagine and rebuild community-police relations in Ashland/Cherryland. Through interviews with officers, community members, and staff, this case study examines how artistic performance, community participation, and community-based economic development can build local commerce, foster community cohesion, and change perceptions of public safety. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 42 pages].

Using Social Media and Social Network Analysis in Law Enforcement

Using Social Media and Social Network Analysis in Law Enforcement: Creating a Research Agenda, Including Business Cases, Protections, and Technology Needs. RAND Corporation. John S. Hollywood et al. July 18, 2018

 This report describes the proceedings of an April 2017 expert workshop on the use of social media and social network analysis in law enforcement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 28 pages].

Alternative Forms of Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors

Alternative Forms of Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors. Urban Institute. Lilly Yu et al. March 21, 2018.

  Human trafficking survivors do not typically find the traditional criminal justice system’s punitive outcomes for traffickers to match their views of justice, favoring alternative approaches. Drawing from qualitative interviews with 80 survivors of sex and labor trafficking, this brief documents survivors’ experiences with and perceptions of alternative practices, including procedural, restorative, and transitional justice. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages].

Addressing Emerging Trends to Support the Future of Criminal Justice: Findings of the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group

Addressing Emerging Trends to Support the Future of Criminal Justice: Findings of the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group. RAND Corporation. John S. Hollywood et al. March 19, 2018

 The Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group deliberated on the effects that major societal trends could have on criminal justice in the near future and identified potential responses. This report captures the results of the group’s meetings. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 68 pages].