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Report Card on Crime and Punishment

NCJ Number
M Block; S Twist
Date Published
41 pages
This review of crime and punishment in the States indicates that 65 people will be murdered daily, 299 women will be raped, 1,842 people will be robbed, and more than 3,000 will be the victim of an aggravated assault.
The issue of crime has been thrust on the national agenda due to public outrage over the explosion in crime. The 1992 crime rate was three times that of 1960, and the 1992 violent crime rate was almost five times the rate in 1960. The murder rate nearly doubled over the period, while rape, robbery, and assault increased by more than four times. Between 1980 and 1992, the violent crime rate rose 27 percent, while the total crime rate declined by 5 percent. During the 1960's and 1970's, imprisonment was used less as a punishment for crime. Between 1980 and 1992, social spending decreased and incarceration rates generally increased. Between 1960 and 1992, the average taxpayer cost per inmate nearly doubled, but this increase was not consistent among States. The cost per inmate declined in three States and increased by less than 10 percent in three other States. In 18 States, the cost per inmate rose by more than 100 percent. Data are tabulated on crime rate trends between 1960 and 1992, violent crime, repeat offenders, victimization, offenders on probation, the prison population, gun availability, and juvenile crime. Supplemental tables on crime rates are contained in appendixes. Tables and figures