Reflections on the Crime Decline: Lessons for the Future?

Researchers say that the declines in violent crime and homicides since
the early 1970s have bottomed out in the waning economy, and in some jurisdictions have started to increase again. In examining the youth crime decline in the 1990s, the report notes that gun homicides among juveniles and young adults (ages 18 to 24) more than quadrupled between 1985 and 1993, but have decreased sharply since then. The juvenile gun homicide arrest rate, after hitting a high of 24 per 100,000 in 1994, plummeted 71 percent by 2000, while overall violent crime arrest rates also dropped significantly. The researchers attribute the overall crime decline in part to the fact that youth comprised a lower percentage of the population in the 1990s than in previous decades. 45 pages. $8.50. Urban Institute, 2100 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037. (877) 847-7377,


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