FBI Report: Violent Crime Down , Lots of Drug Arrests

The FBI has released its annual report, Crime in America. For the third year in a row, violent crime is down. This is the 7th year that property crimes have declined.

The 2009 statistics show that the estimated volumes of violent and property crimes declined 5.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2008 estimates. The violent crime rate for the year was 429.4 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants (a 6.1 percent decrease from the 2008 rate), and the property crime rate was 3,036.1 per 100,000 persons (a 5.5 percent decrease from the 2008 figure).

The full report is here. A summary is here. [More...]

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter and robbery had the largest decreases (from 2008): 7.3 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively.

There sure were a lot of arrests: The FBI estimates agencies nationwide made about 13.7 million arrests, excluding traffic violations.

The most arrests were for drug offenses: 1.6 million:

The highest arrest counts among the Part I and Part II offenses were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,663,582 arrests), driving under the influence (estimated at 1,440,409), and larceny-theft (estimated at 1,334,933).

Of the drug arrests, 81% were for possession and 18% for manufacturing/distribution. Of the possession arrests, 45% were for marijuana.

75% of all arrestees were male, 69% were white and 28% were black.

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    This points up the problem I repeatedly (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 09:20:11 AM EST
    bring up when we discuss leagalization of drugs, or even just MJ:  the Bureaucrat's Prime Directive.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the term, you'll recognize the issue.  The Bureaucrat's Prime Directive is "always, and before everything else, [act so as to] justify the continued existence of your job".

    In the cops and crimes and drug-decriminialization context, that translates out to "what will the cops arrest people for, when they can't arrest people for MJ?"  This, because cops who aren't arresting people aren't justifying the continued existence of their jobs - by definition, a cop who isn't catching criminals (or who finds people who aren't guilty of something) isn't doing what cops do, i.e., catching criminals.

    The advent, under Rudy Thugiani, of the "Compstat" method of numerically analyzing crime and criminality, has only exacerbated the problem.  Supervisors and politicians track the numbers and woe unto any cop who says "there's no crime in my precinct" in response to not making their numbers.

    So, what are cops going to arrest people for, when they can't arrest them for MJ?

    What are prisons going to hold, when they don't have MJ convicts to hold any more?

    Because there's one thing for sure - the criminal justice-prison-industrial complex is not going to give away the jobs they presently have.  They will do everything in their power to keep their jobs.

    "Violent Crime Down..." (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 09:45:02 AM EST
    Except for the violent crime that is arresting people for drugs...that one is up, to the detriment of us all, except those employed/invested in the tyranny sector.

    Quick Path to Legalization.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by bselznick on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 09:40:29 AM EST
    The problem is they are arresting the wrong people.  

    When was the last time we had a under-cover operation targeting the richest communities in America.  Or better yet, the richest high schools or colleges?  These folks do just as many drugs, if not more so because they can obviously afford it.  If you arrested a large number of rich kids for smoking/selling pot and they were kicked out of school, you'd see some change.  

    If little James IV could never be on the Supreme Court because of a joint, I bet drug laws would change pretty quick.  Jailing millions of poor people is just no big deal.

    Violent crimes down, including robbery, (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 02:45:25 PM EST
    yet poverty is at a, what, 12-13 year high?

    How could that possibly happen?

    I thought violent crimes, robbery, etc, were caused by poverty, income inequities, etc.

    A couple possible reasons... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 03:15:17 PM EST
    the continued extension of unemployment bennies, so many have been criminalized and/or arrested they are fearful to report robberies, or perhaps most likely...the big increase is coming in the 2010 year.

    Whats your theory, su? (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 04:27:32 PM EST
    that some people are genetically predisposed to violence and that it has little if any relation to living in a stressful environment?

    Really, I'd like to hear what your thoughts are on this.


    My thoughts are that it would appear, (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 05:38:13 PM EST
    from these numbers, that violent crimes, robberies, etc., are not nearly as related to poverty/income inequities as some other might think.

    I guess the real test (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 06:06:26 PM EST
    would be finding what % of those making up the prison population come from what would be generally considered economically impoverished backgrounds, no?

    Though, the fact that environmental stress is a strong contributing factor in spurring aberrant or irrational behavior has been well established since people first started scientifically studying such things.  


    criminals. Plenty of crimes and thefts committed by people who are most assuredly not in poverty. Do the names Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff and Martha Stewart ring a bell to you?

    Why? Because human beings (and all living beings, actually) are pre-conditioned to take the "easiest" route, especially if they think they can get away with it. You know, risk/reward at all. Just one of those things they established since when they first started scientifically studying such things...