Although well-intentioned, juvenile crime-fighting measures being proposed by President Clinton and congressional Republicans would mean a major new intrusion by the federal government into state and local criminal justice systems.

The process is by now a familiar pattern: The White House and Congress take a bona fide issue of genuine public concern - in this case, rising juvenile crime rates - and tell the states how to handle it. The instrument of compliance is federal money or, more accurately, the circumstances under which the federal government will give back to the states the public's tax money.The Republican bill would require the states, as a condition of getting a share of $1.5 billion in federal money, to try as adults 15-year-olds, and in some cases 13- and 14-year-olds, charged with serious crimes; to impose escalating sentences on repeat juvenile offenders; and to make public the records of juvenile felony offenders.

The White House measure is more subtle but still intrusive. Fighting youth gangs and protecting witnesses testifying against them would now be matters of federal law. About $400 million would be made available for various juvenile crime-fighting programs which, in turn, would inevitably be subject to federal regulations.

Both bills represent an expansion of federal writ, one that is consistent with President Clinton's activist view of government but one that seems strikingly at odds with what the Republicans say is their philosophy.