New Research and Papers
Concerns Over Rising Crime in Context
Justice Policy Institute: March 15, 2007. In light of the recent Police Executive Research Forum report decrying an "alarming trend" of increasing violent crime, and the call for more money for law enforcement, JPI put together this factsheet to keep the numbers in context, and to show that while the increase in violent crime is cause for concern, it is not increasing at the alarming rates seen in the early 1990s.
The Impending Crime Wave: Four Dangerous New Trends and How to Stop Them
A Third Way Report by Jim Kessler, Rachel Laser, Michael Earls, and Nikki
Yamashiro. On February 26, 2008, Third Way, a "liberal" think-tank released a paper that warns of a coming wave of crime and offers more than 100 federal,
state, and local policy options to handle the impending problem. The group
also released the findings of a newn ational poll revealing that public
concern over crime is high and growing. Pointing to the findings in the paper, the Governors announced a 21st-century crime-fighting agenda to combat this wave.
In The Impending Crime Wave, Third Way describes the convergence of four new and menacing sociological trends, which, together with the recent federal disengagement from crime-fighting, threaten a new and devastating wave of crime in America. These trends include:
• The Reentry Explosion: A massive group of prisoners are poised to reenter
their communities over the next several years. In the 1980s, 2.5 million
prisoners were released; in this decade, it will be nearly 7 million, with
700,000 in the next year alone.
• The Lengthening Shadow of Illegal Immigration: With more that 12 million
illegal immigrants now in the country, a shadow economy that both serves and
exploits illegal immigrants is large and growing, and a small but violent
minority of illegal immigrants are themselves offenders.
• The Sprawling Parentless Neighborhood of the Internet: Technology, in
particular the explosion of online social networking, is exposing increasing
numbers of young children and teenagers to a surge in sexual predation on
• The Surging Youth Population: Young people commit far more crimes than the
general population, and the demographic bulge in young people, if not
effectively addressed, will account for about 2.5 million more crimes by
Incarceration and Crime: A Complex Relationship
Provides a comprehensive analysis of research conducted on the relationship between incarceration and crime, and concludes that assertions of prison's impact on criminal offending have been overstated. As policymakers continue to struggle with the legacy of a prison population that has been growing steadily for more than three decades, this report suggests an urgent need for the reconsideration of the punitive sentencing and parole policies that currently dominate the criminal justice landscape. The Sentencing Project, November 2005.
Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005
Presents data on prison and jail inmates, collected from National Prisoner Statistics counts and the Census of Jail Inmates 2005. This annual report provides the number of inmates and the overall incarceration rate per 100,000 residents for each State and the Federal system. It offers trends since 1995 and percentage changes in prison populations since midyear and yearend 2004.
Rethinking the Blues: How we police in the U.S. and at what cost
Justice Policy Institute. May 2012. Despite crime rates being at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, the U.S. continues to maintain large and increasingly militarized police units, spending more than $100 billion every year. Police forces have grown from locally-funded public safety initiatives into a federally subsidized jobs program, with a decreasing focus on community policing and growing concerns about racial profiling and “cuffs for cash,” with success measured not by increased safety and well-being but by more arrests.
The report highlights the negative effects of over-policing by detailing how law enforcement efforts contribute to a criminal justice system that disconnects people from their communities, fills prisons and jails, and costs taxpayers billions.