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Crime Victims, COPS, NIJ, BJS Win In Senate Vote

For the second consecutive year, Congress is moving toward sharply increasing federal spending on programs that aid crime victims. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved $2.6 billion for the federal crime victims fund for the year starting October 1. The House of Representatives this month approved an even-higher figure of about $2.7 billion. The final number will be determined by a Senate-House conference committee. Congress last year lifted a longstanding cap on spending for crime victims, providing $2.36 billion […]

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A Congressional Blow to Science in Criminal Justice?

The House subcommittee that oversees U.S. Justice Department spending has taken the unusual step of proposing to eliminate line-item budgets for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)–the department’s main research and statistics agencies. In a proposal that will go to the full House Appropriations Committee tomorrow, the subcommittee suggests that the two agencies be funded instead out of an existing “set-aside” of money in which three percent of Department of Justice (DOJ) grants […]

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Study: Violent Crime Stays With Victims

More than two-thirds of serious crime victims experience socio-emotional problems after victimization, according to a new study by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Researchers for the study analyzed responses between 2009 and 2012 to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Socio-emotional problems are defined as, “moderate to severe emotional distress, increased relationship problems, or disruptions at school or work resulting from the victimization.” About 68 percent of victims rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault experienced socio-emotional problems, according to […]

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BJS: Violent Crime Declined in 2013

The nation’s violent crime rate declined slightly last year after two years of increases, the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics said today in its annual victimization survey. That may signal a return to the nearly two-decade-long downward trend in violent crime before 2011. The victimization report is based on an annual scientific survey of Americans on whether they had been victimized in the previous year. The interviews included about 90,630 households and 160,040 persons last year. It differs […]

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Report: New Urban Hispanic Communities Face Violent Victimization

Residents of new and growing Hispanic communities in metropolitan areas are victimized at higher rates than in smaller or well-established communities, according to a new report from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The report classified neighborhoods based on their historical Hispanic population and the Hispanic population growth between 1980 and 2010. In established Hispanic areas the Hispanic population exceeded the national average of 6.4 percent. New Hispanic areas began with a small Hispanic population, but grew at a […]

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Blue-Ribbon National Panel To Tackle Crime-Stats Issues

Help is on the way for the nation’s long-criticized system of collecting and analyzing data on crime and justice. A new panel on Modernizing the Nation’s Crime Statistics, organized by the National Academies of Science’s National Research Council, will hold its first public workshop-style session this Thursday in Washington, D.C. The effort is sponsored jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)—two Justice Department agencies that for many years have put out […]

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How Often Are Men The Victims of Sexual Assault?

Men are significantly more likely to be the victims of sexual assault than previously believed, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers analyzed sexual victimization data from five federal surveys conducted between 2010 and 2012 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They found a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men, “in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women.” […]

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Most Ex-Inmates Arrested Within Three Years of Release, Says New Federal Study

An estimated two-thirds of prisoners released in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today in the first major federal study of recidivism in nearly two decades. More than three-quarters (77 percent) were arrested within five years. The study covers 405,000 prisoners released by 30 states in 2005. More than one-third (37 percent) were arrested within six months of their release from prison, and more than half (57 percent) were […]

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Can We Trust Crime Numbers?

In his weekly video address on March 10, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder warned of an “urgent and growing public health crisis” in America: the abuse of heroin and prescription opiates. The overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in New York on February 2 had thrust the issue into the news, and Holder's comments were intended to give the Department of Justice a voice in an important public conversation. But the first statistic Holder cited as evidence of this […]