<< News Scan | Main | A More Perfect Union >>

FBI Releases Final 2012 Crime Stats

The FBI has released the final statistics for its annual Crime in the United States reports.  Press release is here.

In prior posts (here and here), we examined preliminary data for indications of whether California's "realignment" program, effective October 2011, may have resulted in an increase in crime.  For the final data, as with the preliminary, all we can say is that the data are consistent with that hypothesis but definitive proof is not possible at this time.

With the FBI final data, we can compare statewide totals across states.  California's property crime is up 6.8%, compared with a national decline of -0.9%.  Property crime is the type most likely to be affected by realignment, as the program is not supposed to have any effect on the sentencing of violent criminals.  (It has more than advertised, but that is another topic.)

Other states that have significant rises in property crime are mostly small-population states:  South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Alaska, West Virginia, Vermont, and North Dakota, in that order.  (California would come after Nevada in the ordered list.)  What's with the increases in the small states?  It could be that statistics are simply more volatile there.  Montana, West Virginia, and Alaska bounced back up from significant drops the year before, so this could just be "reversion to the mean."  Something else may be at work in the Dakotas.  South Dakota's property crime rate is up to a level not seen for 10 years.  Could be the oil boom.

Among medium and large states, California stands out.  Oregon's property crime increase is a shade more than half of California's.  Colorado's is lower.  Washington's is only a third.  And it's sharply downhill from there.  Texas is down -3.2%.  Florida and Ohio notched -7.0% and -7.1% drops, respectively.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives