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Don’t Panic Over Homicide Rise In Many Big Cities, Washington Post Argues

The U.S. cut its national homicide rate from 9.8 per 100,000 in 1991 to 4.5 per 100,000 in 2014, which the Washington Post calls “a dramatic social accomplishment that saved not only tens of thousands of lives but probably billions of dollars, too.” There are troubling signs this achievement may be in peril. In the 50 largest U.S. cities in 2015, the number of homicides rose 17 percent, from 4,554 in 2014 to 5,321 in 2015, reflecting increases in homicides […]

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Crime Rate Projected to Decrease Slightly from 2014

An updated analysis of crime data from the 30 largest U.S. cities shows overall crime in 2015 is projected to decrease by 5.5 percent from 2014, the Brennan Center for Justice said yesterday. Using statistics through Dec. 23, researchers reached the same conclusion as they did in the organization's November report entitled “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis”— that overall crime numbers remained about the same in 2015 as in 2014—but found slightly different percentages. As in the preliminary report, […]

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BJS Issues State-By-State Victimization Estimates For The First Time

For decades, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program has issued reports on crimes reported to local police departments and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has reported on results of a survey of Americans that shows that many crimes are unreported. Last year, NCVS said that 54 percent of violent crimes were not reported to police. The nonreporting rate is higher with rape and sex crimes, about two-thirds of which are not reported. Until now, however, […]

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The Criminal Justice Stories (& People) That Really Counted in 2015: You Choose

What were the most significant criminal justice stories and trends in the U.S. during 2015? Which person had the most significant impact? As the country heads into the 2016 presidential election campaign, criminal justice has carved out a prominent place in the national agenda for the first time in many election cycles. The news headlines have been dominated by the debate over American policing, and by terrorism at home and abroad. At the same time, lingering issues about prison overcrowding, […]

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With Crime Up In New Orleans, City Needs More Police Officers

Three times this summer, armed robbers hit New Orleans restaurants or bars. For a city reliant on tourism, the idea that diners might get held up between the appetizer and entree was a big problem, says the Washington Post. The robberies highlighted an unsettling truth in the Big Easy: There are not enough cops. “It's open season on criminal opportunity,” said Peter Scharf, a Louisiana State University criminologist. The ranks of police in New Orleans have dwindled since Hurricane Katrina, […]

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'We Agree on the Bigger Issue'

The Charles Koch Institute is led by one of the richest men in the nation. Perhaps that's why its criminal justice reform summit in New Orleans this week defied conventions for gatherings of its kind. The three-day conference, called “Advancing Justice: An Agenda for Human Dignity & Public Safety,” was billed by one of its organizers as “transideological.” The two governors who spoke at the conference – Democrat Jack Markell from Delaware and Republican Asa Hutchinson from Arkansas – did […]

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Why Immigrant Communities Have Less Crime

Do strong ties to family and neighborhood institutions explain why immigrant communities experience less crime and delinquency than communities of native-born residents? Building on previous research that determined foreign-born youth are less likely to commit violent acts, a study in the journal Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice tries to pinpoint why. Its findings are inconclusive. In “The Power of Place Revisited: Why Immigrant Communities Have Lower Levels of Adolescent Violence,” researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent […]

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Most Americans Think Crime Is Rising, Whether Or Not It Actually Is

Seven in 10 Americans believe there is more crime in the U.S. now than there was a year ago, up slightly from the 63 percent who said that last year, says Gallup’s annual crime survey, conducted this month. Only 18 percent believe say there is less crime, and 8 percent say the level has stayed the same. Since Gallup first began asking Americans in 1989 about their perceptions of crime, majorities generally have said crime had worsened compared with the […]

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New Orleans Cuts Gang Homicides By 32 percent

Deterrence programs that focus law enforcement resources on known gangs are a promising violence prevention measure in urban areas with a history of lethal violence, according to a study published in the American Society of Criminology Journal Criminology & Public Policy. In “Assessing the Impact of Focused Deterrence on Serious Violence in New Orleans,” researchers evaluated whether a focused deterrence program could reduce violence in a “chronic and high-trajectory homicide setting” such as New Orleans, and found the outcome to […]

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Ted Gest

A Pivotal Season For Justice, Or Just More Talk?

Will this Fall prove to be a pivotal one for criminal justice in the United States, or just another flurry of talk with little decisive action? Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced its most significant bill in years on federal crime, one that could roll back many categories of mandatory sentences that have helped pack prisons and strain the Justice Department’s budget. A few hours later, President Barack Obama welcomed to the White House a new group of police chiefs […]