Violent crime decreased by 4.6 percent, and property crime fell by 7.5 percent during the first six months of 2014, compared with the same six-month period in 2013, according to statistics released by the FBI in late January. Pew’s public safety performance project reported last year that the majority of states cut their imprisonment and crime rates simultaneously over a five-year period, and these latest findings from the FBI provide further evidence that states can reduce incarceration rates without compromising public safety.
In Pew’s analysis, the 10 states with the largest decreases in imprisonment rates between 2008 and 2013—the last year for which nationwide data are available—cut their crime rates more than the 10 states with the largest increases in imprisonment rates.
The FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, based on data submitted by 11,009 law enforcement agencies, found declines in all four categories of violent crime (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery) and in all three categories of property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.) For both types of crime, decreases were greater in nonmetropolitan counties than in metropolitan ones.