Overall, crime rates have decreased across the state.
One of the arguments used by opponents to criminal justice reform is that if California changes its “tough on crime” stance, more crimes will be committed. The latest data on crime in California shows that this simply is not the case.
In early July, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released five separate reports on crime in California for 2019: (1) Crime in California; (2) Hate Crime in California; (3) Homicide in California; (4) Juvenile Justice in California; and (5) Use of Force Incident Reporting. As a criminal attorney in Orange County, CA can explain, these reports show an overall decrease in crime across the state.
The Crime in California 2019 report shows statewide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, and other statistics. From 2018 to 2019, the homicide rate decreased by 4.5%, as did the robbery rate. The motor vehicle theft rate went down by 9.6%. At the same time, the adult and juvenile arrest rates decreased by 3.5% (adults) and 5% (juveniles). The total number of adults on active probation was at a 35 year low of 199,313 (the lowest that it has been since 1984).
The Hate Crime in California report revealed that in 2019, hate crime incidents decreased by 4.8%, and the number of suspects involved in reported hate crimes went down by 11.5%. Significantly, while anti-Black, anti-Black and anti-Islamic hate crimes all decreased (by 12%, 26.2%, and 10.7%, respectively), anti-Semitic hate crimes increased by 11.9%. Hate crimes involving anti-LGBTQ bias also decreased by 2.1%.
According to the Homicide in California report, the majority of homicide victims (80.2%) in 2019 were men. Firearms are the most commonly used weapon in California homicides, with 69% of all cases involving the use of a gun.
The Juvenile Justice in California report showed that in addition to the number of juvenile arrests decreasing, most juvenile arrests (81.4%) were referred to county juvenile probation departments. 52.9% of juveniles who were arrested were charged with a misdemeanor offense.
The Use of Force Incident Report showed that there were 703 incidents involving the use of force by law enforcement that resulted in serious injury or death of a civilian or an officer, or the discharge of a firearm. Of the civilians involved in use of force incidents, 44.6% were Latinx, 28.5% were white, and 19.5% were Black.
These numbers demonstrate that even with significant criminal justice reforms taking effect over the past few years, the crime rate in California continues to decrease. Imposing lighter sentences for crimes and released people from jail or prison after crimes were reclassified has not resulted in a crime wave. Instead, a more fair criminal justice system has resulted in lower overall rates of crime.
If you have been charged with a crime, The Chambers Law Firm will aggressively advocate for your rights. To learn more about how we can help you, reach out today at 855-397-0210 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal attorney in Orange County, CA.