Drug Possession Arrests in U.S. Up 80% in 20 Years, Down More Recently


Arrests for drug possession in the U.S. rose 80 percent between 1990 and 2010, from 741,600 to 1,336,530, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today in an analysis of arrests for various crimes. BJS said the arrest rate increased 75 percent between 1990 and its peak in 2006, and has declined since then (through 2010). In what BJS said was a stark contrast, there were 13 percent fewer arrests for drug sale or manufacture in 210 than in 1990–302,300 in 2010 compared with 347,900 in 1990. The report analyzes arrest data compiled by the FBI. Overall, law-enforcement agencies made 13,122,000 arrests in 2010,

Among other comparative numbers in the report for a period in which crime reports overall went down, BJS said the number of murder arrests in the U.S. fell by half between 1990 and 2010. The forcible rape arrest rate fell 59 percent during the period. While the aggravated assault arrest rate fell 31 percent, but the simple assault arrest rate remained essentially unchanged over the period. The male arrest rate for motor vehicle theft in 2010
was a fourth of its 1990 level, and the female arrest rate was half its 1990 value. Juvenile and adult arrest rates for weapon law violations in 2010 were half of what they had been at their peaks in mid-1990s.

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