In this story from USA Today analyzing the recent crime rate increase, there is also the acknowledgement—which virtually everyone in corrections and law enforcement already knows—that the major reason crime rates fell in the first place was better policing (broken windows) and stronger sentencing (three strikes).
What we and other conservative criminal justice practitioners realize, is that the current attempts to reduce both those strategies will result in a continued increase in crime rates.
An excerpt from USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Violent crime in the United States rose for the second year in a row, a government report said Thursday, indicating that the nation’s two-decade decline in crime has ended.
The 2012 National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 26 of every 1,000 people experienced violent crime, a 15% increase in how many people reported being victims of rape, robbery or assault. Property crime — burglary, theft and car theft — rose 12%.
“We’ve plateaued. At this point, I don’t think we’re going to see any more decreases in crime,” said criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University in Boston. “The challenge will be making sure crime rates don’t go back up.”
Even so, after two decades of falling crime rates, violent crime remains at historically low levels. Crime rates have dropped steadily since 1993, when 80 of every 1,000 people reported being victims of violent crime. The homicide rate declined 48% from 1993 to 2011.
Keeping more criminals behind bars longer and developing better crime-fighting technology helped drive down crime rates, Fox said.
“Going back 20 years or more, policing was done blindly,” Fox said. “Now, due to technology, police can be much more proactive in dealing with crime problems before they get out of hand.”