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Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low

The latest study on violent crime by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has just been released. Violent crime is at the lowest level since the agency began keeping records 32 years ago.

The LA Times has more. The Justice Policy Institute (press relase via e-mail) says:

We should use the opportunity presented by this good news to reject the pandering of the past, and overzealous spending on incarceration and law enforcement and instead begin investing in community-based policing and local organizations that succeed in increasing public safety," said Jason Ziedenberg, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute. "Rather than promote the 'crime crisis of the week,' we need to consider what states and localities are doing to reduce incarceration, reduce crime and build communities."

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  • Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Stunning, how when you lock criminals up, there's less crime.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Hey, if they make abortion illegal soon, we can wait 20 years for it to rise again.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Looks like all the criminals are in the Bush administration.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#4)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    J Robertson, you continue to prove yourself one of the most incredibly reductionist and stupid people on this board, ir not the planet. Sadly that's a fact, not an ad hominem.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    desertwine: That kind of ranting is why you guys have lost the last few elections. The funny thing is, there was the whole Republican obsession with Clinton to learn from, and you failed to learn from it. I suspect you'll be stunned after the next few losses as well.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#6)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Now we know why pot and porn are the feds main priorities

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    I have no desire to sing kumbaya with would-be corporate neo-liberal fascists. People who believe the garbage JR rants here brings me to the point of vomit. Their culture will never be mine, which ensures that we will remain multiple fractured Americas - not one, united only by our mutual inability to change anything about our government without a degree from Yale or the random chance of being born into American wealth. JR, Conservative hypocrite religious leaders, D.C. Republicans, Republican governors, materialist a**holes driving around in Humvees with support our troops magnets and Bush election stickers (a year after the election, I might add), etc, all belong lumped together with the Fascisti of the past. Our justice system breeds recidivism. Billions for elective wars to keep lined the pockets of the already wealthy - and none to combat the poverty and lack of education that breeds criminal behavior here in America. Our prison populations are growing out of control and those imprisoned are staying imprisoned. Prison itself is a racist/economic slave system of government welfare. But hey, crime is down. I hear criminal activity is always pretty low in fascist/totalitarian police states - perhaps because the definition of criminal doesn't encompass the evil built into the system - only those acts committed by the disenfranchised that the empowered find unacceptable and annoying. I continue to find it amusing that Conservatives hate Iran when it is their very system that they would like to see operate in America. Public stonings, hangings, torture, no legal remedies, no courts of appeal, secret police, public surveillance cameras on every corner, etc. If ever our broadcast/communication satellites were to fall out of the sky, these are exactly the 1800s-style behaviors/beliefs that would re-manifest themselves quickly in "middle America".

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Prisons are over crowded and crime is down, both points are true. It would seem there is a correlation between the two but maybe I'm mistaken but it is the obvious conclusion. Courts tend to be lenient and most defendents are often given a few look-away passes before they end up in the slammer (at least in NYS). Courts are perhaps being tougher then they were in the past but at the same time violent crime is down. Again it seems pretty simple. Yes there are problems with disparities in the justice system and that sucks but you rarely end up there in the first place unless you've been heading there for a long time.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#9)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    One could just as easily say that the increasing age of the US population is to blame ofr lower crime rates. The flaw with the "lock em up" theory is that they have to commit the crime before they do the time. Deterrence has not been proven.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    The first thing you need to take into consideration when reviewing the statistics posted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics is that most law enforcement agencies do not report their crime statistics. Secondly, they are only required to report the highest level crime. For example, if I break into your house, steal your T.V, rape you, then murder you, the only thing that gets reported is the fact that you were murdered. These statistics are all a bunch of crap. I like Johnny's comment that "Deterrance had not been proven." As a matter of fact, the whole theory of deterrance is a load of crap. Deterrance has never worked. If it had states would not still feel the need for the death penalty because no one would commit a crime that resulted in the death penalty as a sentance. Our government needs to stop being so reactive and start understanding that proactive means are the only way to truly reduce crime.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Apparently some people believe that Roe v. Wade is responsible for the drop in crime and that it has nothing to do with the US being the worlds most prolific jailer. Supposedly, three times as many blacks as whites have abortions so I guess saying that "abortion reduces crime" is racist. If I could somehow fit antisemitism into the picture then I could die a happy lunatic. The American Conservative has a typical article on the subject titled Pre-emptive Executions. Unfortunately, those guys have only been gargling the Kool-Aid

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Frankly, whatever your political persuasion is I wouldn't put too much faith in this report. It was done by another bush crony after they fired the professional for doing his job: From the NYT
    The Bush administration is replacing the director of a small but critical branch of the Justice Department, months after he complained that senior political officials at the department were seeking to play down newly compiled data on the aggressive police treatment of black and Hispanic drivers.


    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:18 PM EST
    Sorry, I left the best out:
    But the references in the draft to higher rates of searches and use of force for blacks and Hispanics were crossed out by hand, with a notation in the margin that read, "Do we need this?" A note affixed to the edited draft, which the officials said was written by Ms. [Tracy A.] Henke, read "Make the changes," and it was signed "Tracy." That led to a fierce dispute after Mr. Greenfeld refused to delete the references, officials said.
    [...]
    Amid the debate over the traffic stop study, Mr. Greenfeld was called to the office of Robert D. McCallum Jr., then the third-ranking Justice Department official, and questioned about his handling of the matter, people involved in the episode said. Some weeks later, he was called to the White House, where personnel officials told him he was being replaced as director and was urged to resign, six months before he was scheduled to retire with full pension benefits, the officials said.
    BTW, 'Tracy' now works for DHS.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    One factor that hasn't been mentioned is the baby boom generation aging past its most crime-prone years. This may significantly affect the stats for violent crimes. It will be interesting to see if the next generational cohort - the "generation X" group - commits less violent crime if only because of smaller numbers. I can't find the link, but I do recall a few articles predicting a rise when generation Ya larger population mass, hits adolescence.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    Tampa S..... I continue to find it amusing that Conservatives hate Iran when it is their very system that they would like to see operate in America. Ironic huh? Maybe that's because your observations are wrong?

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    When you lock up every Ton, Dick, and Harry for every little thing, of course crime will go down...but at what cost? I'd bet we could reduce the prison population by 20% and not see an increase in violent crime.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#17)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    Actually Larry, I did mention the aging US population. (and for my money, this is the major factor) Charley, this may be a bit beyond your plain jane, the world is black and white comprehension level. BB, why is she wrong? Or are you just being a typical wrong-winger obstructionist? Troll.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    There could be many factors that could have contributed to the decline in the stats and being put in prison for your crimes is an effective means of reducing crime. I lived in both the Dinkins NYC as well as the Guiliani NYC and there was a difference. There isn't a rational argument that says, 'Just because you lock up criminals does'nt mean the crime rates should necessarily go down'. Taking criminals of the streets does reduce crime by making criminals unable to make it to work so to speak. For those who think that by giving someone somthing for nothing (a pay-off if you will) or understanding them or their background better will change their career course please give me an example were kumbya beat back crime and explain how that could transfer to a workable plan to reduce crime. Some people are hard learners, many become criminals and others just become crusty-old far Lefties.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    The inference is that perhaps low violent criminal activity on our streets isn't enough reward for all that we're giving up by handing our rights/freedoms over to modern day would-be silver shirts. Less money for schools, more money for war. Less money for government anti-poverty initiatives, more money for prisons. Beyond the ability of your average Conservative to understand, no doubt. Once you've been programmed that you're the master of the universe, I guess it's hard to come down to the level of those who've been marginalized.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    The Democrats are peddling cheap centrist garbage. They're talking your language Charley, kill terrorists, blah blah blah, Freedom for Iraqis, blah blah blah, Tax Cuts, blah blah blah. The Democrats are losing elections trying to suck up to people like you.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    Yep BB, it doesn't have anything to do with the words of one of my favorite philosophers: "The poor, you will have with you always". It's more convenient to pretend the only reason people are poor is the libs fault.

    Re: Violent Crime at a 32 Year Low (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    Adept.... I never claimed the left made them poor...but some of the left's policies sure tend to keep them that way... This is a fact and easy to verify (if you care to)...whether you agree or not.