The Great American Crime Decline
Wolfen Distinguished Scholar Franklin E. Zimring William G. Simon Professor of Law, and Director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute University of California Berkeley
Oxford University Press, USA, Nov 3, 2006 - Social Science - 272 pages
Many theories--from the routine to the bizarre--have been offered up to explain the crime decline of the 1990s. Was it record levels of imprisonment? An abatement of the crack cocaine epidemic? More police using better tactics? Or even the effects of legalized abortion? And what can we expect from crime rates in the future? Franklin E. Zimring here takes on the experts, and counters with the first in-depth portrait of the decline and its true significance. The major lesson from the 1990s is that relatively superficial changes in the character of urban life can be associated with up to 75% drops in the crime rate. Crime can drop even if there is no major change in the population, the economy or the schools. Offering the most reliable data available, Zimring documents the decline as the longest and largest since World War II. It ranges across both violent and non-violent offenses, all regions, and every demographic. All Americans, whether they live in cities or suburbs, whether rich or poor, are safer today. Casting a critical and unerring eye on current explanations, this book demonstrates that both long-standing theories of crime prevention and recently generated theories fall far short of explaining the 1990s drop. A careful study of Canadian crime trends reveals that imprisonment and economic factors may not have played the role in the U.S. crime drop that many have suggested. There was no magic bullet but instead a combination of factors working in concert rather than a single cause that produced the decline. Further--and happily for future progress, it is clear that declines in the crime rate do not require fundamental social or structural changes. Smaller shifts in policy can make large differences. The significant reductions in crime rates, especially in New York, where crime dropped twice the national average, suggests that there is room for other cities to repeat this astounding success. In this definitive look at the great American crime decline, Franklin E. Zimring finds no pat answers but evidence that even lower crime rates might be in store.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - sgtbigg - LibraryThing
During the 1990’s the United States saw an unprecedented decrease in crime. Nationwide there was an approximately 40% decrease in all seven of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) categories ... Read full review
What Happened in the 1990s?
The Search for Causes
Two New Perspectives
TwentyFirst Century Lessons
Appendix 1 Crime and Abortion Policy in Europe Canada and Australia
Appendix 2 Supplementary Statistics on Crime Trends in Canada during the 1990s
Other editions - View all
abortion African American age groups aggravated assault aggregate analysis assault auto theft average births Bureau of Investigation burglary Canadian crime causes changes in policing chapter city’s cline cohorts COMPSTAT crack cocaine crack epidemic crime categories crime decline crime drop crime policy crime prevention crime reduction crime trends criminal justice cyclical Data Base IMDB decade decline in crime declining crime decrease demographic Department of Justice Donohue and Levitt economic effects estimates evidence explain Federal Bureau Figure homicide rates important imprisonment incapacitation incarceration increase index crime index offenses influence Integrated Meta Data larceny lower crime rates magnitude major measure Meta Data Base Ottawa pattern percentage period population potential predict prison produce rape reduce crime regression risk robbery shift shows social Source Statistics Canada Steven Levitt substantial theory tion U.S. crime U.S. Department Uniform Crime Report United variations violent crime York City York City’s York’s youth