The Great American Crime Decline

The Great American Crime Decline

The Great American Crime Decline

The Great American Crime Decline

Excerpt

The crime decline that is the subject of this book started quietly. The rate of reported crimes in the United States dropped each year after 1991 for nine years in a row, the longest decline ever recorded. This was a big drop in two other respects. The rates of every serious offense dropped in the United States, even though there are no close or obvious connections between violent offenses, such as homicide and rape, and common theft. And crime dropped all over the United States—in every region, in the country as well as the city, in poor neighborhoods as well as rich neighborhoods. By the start of the twenty-first century, most serious crime rates had dropped by more than 35%.

The great American crime decline was a surprise when it began and is a mystery to this day. No experts were predicting declining crime for the 1990s, and few observers paid much attention to the accumulating good news even during the first four years of the drop. Fifteen years after the decline began, there is little consensus among experts about what changes in circumstances produced the crime decline or what is likely to happen next. Sadly, this lack of consensus has not inspired extraordinary efforts by government or social science to focus scientific resources and attention on study of this remarkable chapter of American history.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.