Minneapolis did not have a single homicide involving a juvenile in the first six months of 2009, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The crime drop “looks like a national phenomenon,” said Andrew Karmen of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “But no one really knows why.”
While some cities credit better police-community relations and increasingly sophisticated databases on criminals, Minneapolis officials credit a plan they came up with three years ago to target juvenile crime, which in 2006 accounted for about half of the serious crime in the city. Minneapolis has had fewer murders this year than neighboring St. Paul, traditionally one of the safest large cities in the country. Experts say that while many in the public may be surprised that crime continues to drop during a deep recession, the same thing happened during the Great Depression, with crime lower during the 1930s than it was during the prosperity of the 1920s.