The FBI has finally
come out with the 2013 statistics for Crime in the United States, almost two months later than last year. The good news is that crime is down from 2012 about 5% in crimes per 100,000 population nationwide on both the violent (-5.1%) and property (-4.8%) scales.
Last month, we noted
the good news that California crime was down, but we were interested in seeing the national figures for comparison to sort out national trends from possible effects of California's sentencing "realignment." Last year's post making that comparison is here
We look at property crime as the primary indicator, as persons convicted of violent crimes, either for the present offense or as priors, are not eligible to be shunted off to county jail under realignment. Many property crime convicts are, and given that the jails are overcrowded in most counties they either get released early or they push out other inmates for early release, likely other property crime convicts.
California's overall property crime rate is down less than the national average, -3.8% versus -4.8%. Auto theft is the category tracked by the FBI that is most likely to be affected by realignment, because all auto thefts in 2013 (pre-Prop. 47) were realignment-eligible felonies, while other categories are mixed eligible/ineligible or felony/misdemeanor. Consistent with the realignment-effect hypothesis, California's improvement in auto theft lagged considerably behind the nation, -2.8% versus -4.0%.
Comparing 2010, the last full year before realignment, with 2013, property crime has dropped 7.2% in the nation while rising slightly, 0.8%, in California. Auto theft is down 7.3% nationally but up 5.3% in California.