Kent notes that crime fell again in 2009. He does not speculate on why. Astute commenter mjs, however, provides two reasons that ring true: targeted policing and a high rate of incarceration.
We often hear that we need to get "smart on crime." That phrase is almost always a smokescreen -- the camel's nose of a policy favoring mass release of convicts. If getting "smart on crime" actually meant something sensible, it might mean doing what we know works (jail) and avoiding what we know fails (going misty-eyed). We had enough misty eyes in the sixties and seventies, and we all remember what it brought us.
Let me suggest one other reason that crime fell in 2009: Would-be criminals had more to think about, and I don't just mean the slammer. A Second Amendment group notes:
For the third year in a row, violent crime has declined in the United States while increasing numbers of American citizens own firearms and are licensed to carry, a trend that belies predictions of anti-gunners that more guns will result in more crime....
At the same time [as the drop in crime], the...National Instant Check System reports continued increases in the number of background check requests and the National Shooting Sports Foundation has reported increased federal firearms excise tax allocations to state wildlife agencies, an indication that more guns and ammunition are being purchased.
The entire CCRKBA press release is here. Contrary to what defense lawyers so often tell us, criminals actually think about what they're doing. If I were a criminal wannabe, and I thought the chances of getting shot when I broke into your house at 3 a.m. had just gone up, I would think again.