Uniform Crime Report Analysis

Uniform Crime Report Analysis

when we get started good afternoon
everyone my name is Tom Mayer I’m the deputy managing editor at the Marshall
project we are a non-profit investigative news organization covering
the criminal justice system in America and I’m very excited to be able to
moderate this conversation with these five gentlemen here talking about
Uniform Crime reporting data that’s come out this year and about measuring crime
in general I’m gonna start right off by introducing our panelists though I’m
sure most of you know all of them already
first I have Thomas apt he’s a senior research fellow with Harvard’s Center
for International Development where he leads the center’s security and
development seminar series both in the United States and globally he teaches
studies and writes on the use of evidence informed approaches to reducing
gun gang and youth violence among other topics let’s say to his left we have
Adam Gelb he was a reporter in Atlanta for several years in the 1980s and 90s
covering police in the drug war and since then has worked twice in Congress
and for governors offices in Maryland and Georgia for the past 11 years Adam
has run Pew’s Public Safety performance project which has now worked with more
than 35 states to help them safely reduce their prison populations – Adams
left we have Ames grauer he’s counsel in the brennan center’s
justice program and the Jarnell new justice counsel a former prosecutor his
work seeks to develop an understanding of the cost of America’s criminal
justice system to defendants inmates and the nation as a whole and to translate
that information into legal change to Ames is left we have Jim Parsons he’s
the vice president and research director at the Vera Institute of Justice where
he’s responsible for shaping Vera’s research agenda his work focuses on
public health drug policy international development and various aspects of the
criminal justice system including research on sentencing policies courts
and corrections and then finally on the end here we have David Kennedy he’s a
professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice here in
New York the host for this event and he’s the director of the national
network for safe communities David in the national network support
cities implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence
minimize arrests incarceration enhance police legitimacy and strengthen
relationships between law enforcement and communities so I thought we’d start
first by giving each of our panelists a few minutes to talk about the latest UCR
numbers and then we’ll start throwing some questions at them Thomas you wanna
go first sure it’s a pleasure to be here pleasure to talk with you about this
subject since we’re sort of doing sort of a lightning round up front I’m just
going to give you sort of the the my sort of top-line thoughts and I’ll
reserve sort of more detailed comments for later just to sort of start us off
in 2016 the the the last year for which we have the official UCR data there were
seventeen thousand two hundred and fifty homicides that’s up 8.6 percent from
2015 and that comes on the heels of a 12.1 percent increase in 2014 2015 that
adds up to about a 21 or 22 percent increase in homicide over two years
which is the largest two year increase in 25 years at the same time we have to
acknowledge that the rates of violent crime here in the United States right
now are about half of what they were at their peak in the early 90s the you know
with regard to violent crime there were about 1.2 million violent crimes in 2016
that was up four percent from the previous year up four percent from the
previous year from that so for a total two-year increase of about 8% again not
just the rates of homicide but the rates of violent crime are about half of what
they were from their high in 1991 or 1992 the big question that were here to
discuss is is this a trend I think the the the only serious answer is we don’t
know yet we can’t be certain murder rows began to rise precipitously and then in
the early 1960 it ultimately peaked in the early 90s
and then it dropped more or less steadily for two and a half decades
there was a two-year rise ten years ago in 2005 in 2006 and then murders
continued to drop so we’ve been here before in terms of a two-year rise one
thing to keep in mind is that this surge is much larger than the previous one we
have a 22 percent surge 2016 through 2014 the previous one was about 5
percent but the rate of increase is slowing and I think that we so the rate
the rate of increase in 2015 was very high the rate of increase in 2016 is
lower I think we can expect based on some preliminary data that if there is
an increase in 2017 it will be lower still but I want to conclude my my
initial outset which is that in some ways this question of is this a trend is
somewhat beside the point because in some ways it doesn’t matter the rates
were already far too high much higher than other in other developed nations
and especially too high for poor communities of color and so one thing I
just want to get across is that this issue of violent crime of homicide is an
important issue literally a matter of life or death
whether or not there is a trend going on and too often this issue is considered
sort of a political put football that’s carried back and forth criminal justice
reform errs sometimes want to downplay the issue because they worry that this
is going to that this is going to impact the momentum for other criminal justice
reforms other other people want to exaggerate the issue and so fear and
division and linked this to two other issues like a broader cultural war or a
tough on crime or law and order agenda about crime and immigration but I think
I think for the purposes of this of this conference in this panel in
particular I want to speak to the Reformers and I just want to note that I
think it’s very important that there is a progressive criminal justice response
to the issue of violent crime it disproportionately impacts the
constituencies that we reformers claim we care about which is poor communities
of color the violence in these communities causes intense suffering and
if we fail to address that suffering it’s real disservice to them and
ironically many of the best anti violent strategies are actually pushed and
developed by criminal justice reform errs we have one of them at the opposite
end of this panel so I would argue that the work has been done the foundation is
laid and progressive reformers simply need to elevate this and make it part of
their overall response and then the last thing I’ll say is that I think too often
the framing is that criminal justice reform and Public Safety or violence
reduction are framed to be in contradiction or in tension with one
another when in fact I think over the long run promoting legitimacy in reform
is actually a very smart crime reduction strategy and if we can improve the legit
as’ legitimacy of the system we are seeing more and more research that
retires legitimacy or illegitimacy of the criminal justice system to violence
so what I want to sort of leave you with with this very brief introduction is
that with crime reduction and justice reform it’s not either/or it’s both and
thank you I would like to associate myself with
those remarks Thomas put yourself back 1012 years 2005 2006 we had two
consecutive years of increases in violent crime and at the time there were
there were dire warnings that we were headed back to the peaks of the early
90s that did not come to pass which is terrific and I’m not gonna try to
prognosticate here but there are a number of reasons to think that we might
be seeing a leveling off and maybe even a decrease and aims you I’m sure be
talking about that so far this year but in 2007 so exactly 10 years ago after
these two consecutive increases the Attorney General at the time Alberto
Gonzales issued a statement that I think captures pretty pretty darn well exactly
where we are today after two years of consecutive increases I want to read it
to you so I get it right in a speech he said in general it doesn’t appear that
the current data revealed nationwide trends rather they show local increases
in certain communities each community is facing different circumstances and in
many places violent crime continues to decrease that sound right for about what
we’re looking at today though it’s fascinating to see the difference we
serve there’s a great example of where you stand depends on where you sit and
the reaction of the current administration and and others to what
we’re seeing now so at a few we kind of looked at these looked at what’s going
on and boil it down to three overarching points context concentration and
fluctuation I’m just going to cover those real quickly by context we mean
historical context Thomas hit that a little bit
we’re still despite these increases still about half the levels we were in
the peaks of crime in the early in the early 1990s if you look at filing a
property crime together you actually are still headed down not up and there’s so
many different so many different ways to put this but since 1971 you can go all
the way back then they’re only been 5 years with a lower violent crime rate
than there was in 2016 on concentration it’s it’s terrible that somebody fingers
pointed at Chicago you know but it’s it is illustrative of just how concentrated
particularly the murder increase has been moving from 2015 to 2016 22 % of
the murder increase I was accounted for by the increase in Chicago and 15 cities
account for 51% of the increase in homicide in particular if you look back
a little bit the way Thomas just did you notice that’s still heavy I would say
heavy concentration but it’s not quite as heavy as it was from 2014 to 2015 so
we are seeing a little bit less concentration though it’s still
characterized as fairly heavy concentration in certain cities and
jurisdictions and particularly certain neighborhoods within those cities and
then finally fluctuation when you look at those big overall aggregate numbers
particularly the property crime trend you see a steady decline in property
crime since the peak in 1991 violent crime did have that peak in 1991 dropped
increased in oh five into a six and then started declining again murder however
has been bouncing around a little bit over time again they’re number ways to
illustrate this but we just looked over the past ten years and the wonderful
interactive that the Marshall project put together on this it’s a terrific if
you haven’t visited that it’s it’s a really kind of amazing set of data and
visualization of it and from that we were able to discern that finally the
violent crime rate I’m just gonna read this
so I don’t get these cities wrong but when up in five years and down in five
years over the last ten years in Oakland Phoenix Wichita New Orleans and
Louisville so just as an example that’s certainly not an exhaustive list but you
see some bouncing around in some cities words but up to years and then down and
up again and down to years and and this kind of fluctuation so our takeaway from
the context the concentration of the fluctuation is very much along the lines
of what Thomas said these are these are situations that deserve a response and
they deserve a response that’s backed by evidence about what actually works to
reduce violence thank you hi thank you I’m Ames grad from the Brennan Center I
want to thank first the Marshall project and John J for having us if y’all don’t
read the Marshall projects opening statement every morning covering
criminal justice news I I highly encourage it it’s basically a political
playbook for this field it’s excellent and also to thank both of the speakers
have come before me like a good and former appeals a DA they’ll incorporate
those by reference so just to tell you a little bit about that what the Brennan
Center does in this field and why I’m here so for the past three years or so
we’ve looked at trends in the 30 largest cities and tried to build off of local
police data to come up with an informed estimate about what crime rates will be
in those cities by the end of the year it’s been I think it’s been a very
useful service it especially fills some of the gap between official data
releases from the FBI which we all know come nine months after the fact and a
year between releases so what we’re trying to do with these is to give you
sort of a first cut at what we think crime trends are going to look like
they’ve actually they’ve been fairly accurate as well we just posted a blog
on our website which I encourage you to visit and read that compares how our
estimates have done against past increases and we tend to get it within
you know one to three percentage points back and forth so why am I telling you
that I’m telling you that because we we are continuing that project we’re going
to be looking at crime trends in 2017 as well our first cut did show a small
decrease in the 30 largest cities but if you factor on what I’ve just told you
about you know estimates can be higher low that could mean that what we see in
the 30 largest cities by the end of the year could be anywhere from a slight
decrease to essentially holding stable to a slight increase which I think a lot
of scholars have talked about as well as a likely outcome all that evidence I
think tends to accord with what we’ve been saying before that what we could be
staring at is something we’ve seen in the past the two-year increase in
homicides that may be poised to level off and decline another interesting
point we’ve seen from our research is its let us diagnose not just the broad
trends but sort of hot spots that are especially telling about these trends so
it helped us point out that what we were saying earlier about crime in Chicago
Chicago is not alone by any means there are other cities where violence has gone
up significantly and that our help helping if you would drive the national
conversation one of them is Baltimore which saw a decline in murder last year
but is back up again this year and hasn’t really shed the sustained
increase in saw in 25th 2015 so none of what I’m saying about what we could be
looking at is a you know two-year increase it’s poised to subside soon
none of that is meant to detract from real cause for concern about some of
these cities and the many communities that still do struggle with violence so
a couple other things we’ve we’ve looked at and we’ve we plan to be tracking
going forward is a well it’s it’s easy to do it’s relatively easy to do
estimates of crime trends in cities because you can get pretty regular data
from City Police Department’s at a larger population centers you can’t do
the same for rural areas you can’t do the same as well for suburban areas and
I think that’s something to look at especially because we’ve seen sort of
similar fluctuations in crime rates in rural areas in 2015 they were up in 2016
they were down so it’s something to consider what trends are going on there
what could be driving them as well I think I’ll leave my remarks there and
I’ll look forward to answering your question
thanks Eames and and so three really kind of my fellow panelists have given a
very good overview of the main trends I think and and so I’ll just quickly talk
about a little bit of the analysis that we’ve been doing a Vera we produce a
series of evidence briefs which are designed to be short focus treatments of
issues which are in the public eye and which
have a data element where people need to understand the research on a particular
issue and we kind of dove into this issue as part of that series the most
recent so we produced a brief which was in response to the to the recent release
of FBI figures that was already mentioned a couple of weeks ago and what
we wanted to do as part of that was to say let’s look beyond the big cities
where which tend to get more attention and so we haven’t in the time available
haven’t been able to go to a very granular level but were able to conduct
analysis of places with populations of greater than a hundred thousands like
two hundred ninety-four cities and the advantage of doing that is it allows you
to start to disaggregate a little bit as well so to look at the experiences of
people who live or jurisdictions of different sizes so I just want to throw
up a couple of slides this one you’ll I mean this is that the curve that
everyone has been talking about right showing that the fact that there’s an
increase during the seventies and eighties in violent crime on this slide
up until the early nights is known we’ve seen decreases and Adam was talking
about the slight bump that we saw in him in nineteen you’ll see that there on the
slide so what we found when we looked at so firstly the point has been made we’re
at a point now even despite recent increases we are less than half of the
of the levels that we saw there in the in the early 90s and we can see that
there was an uptick in across all of the across all of the jurisdictions sizes in
the last couple of years you can see that when you look at smaller places
that those places do tend to be safer and they experience the same kind of
trends that we see for larger cities so that blue line at the bottom is the
smaller jurisdictions and here this is the same data for homicides and again
you can see that we’re about 43% of the peak you know and all across all of
these types of these sized jurisdictions and actually when you look at the
smaller cities hundreds thousand to 250,000 there was a slight
downturn from 2015 to 2016 the challenge I mean these are all average rates and
of course the challenge looking at average data when it comes to crime
trends is they disguise a huge amount of variation between places and so the
other issue that we want to look at in a bit more detail is how can you start to
pull this apart to say what does the experience look like if you look at
individual jurisdictions and so this table which is from the recent report
that we release firstly shows that the if you’d look at violent crime rates by
jurisdiction when we looked at these 294 jurisdictions we found that the safest
the one with the lowest crime rate they had 44 violent crimes per 100,000
population compared to the upper bound which is 2047 violent crimes per 100,000
so within these jurisdictions there was a 40 factor of 46 difference between the
safest and the most violent these are outliers but I think it just shows that
if you just look at an average rate you are you are disguising a huge amount of
variation and then if you look at this table here it shows if you look at 2015
to 2016 a time when there has been a overall increase in violent crime
there’s been oh it’s all over the board in terms of places that are going up and
down so the middle this middle area here that’s labeled as minimum minimal change
a place is where year-on-year there was very little difference the things
changed there was a different there was some difference in change of following
in violent crimes fluctuations are always there always is but basically
things stayed the same and then at both ends of the scale
you saw cities where the violent crime rate was going down and you saw cities
where the violent crime rate was going up and so for example for this year area
2015 to 2016 56 % two places experience mineral change basically things kind of
stayed the same 12% decline and crime went down violent crime rate went down
and 31% of places it went up so yes there’s been this average aggregate
increase but in 68% of places either the crime rate stayed the same or it went
down so if you’re thinking about making national policy about making national
policy decisions based on what’s happening in terms of these crime rates
and you think that being if you have the theory that being poor more punitive or
reacting to increasing crime is going to improve the situation then that would
not apply in two-thirds of places you’ll be making a decision and trying to fix
something that was not broken or at least the trend suggests that things are
not getting more dangerous in 2/3 of places and I think this is just a really
important point which I think many people in this room get but looking at
these average changes is going it’s potentially going to drive policy in the
wrong way when what we’ve seen over the last two three decades is that policy
choices are having the effect of reducing crime that what we’re doing is
largely working still as Thomas said lots of progress to be made we haven’t
solved the problem but we’re doing a lot of things right and we there’s a danger
of undoing a lot of that progress if we if we don’t look at the nuance of these
data and the same I mean I won’t dwell on this too much this is homicide rates
and again you’ll see the same the same kind of trends most places roughly say
the same 62 percent of places we looked at had stable fairly stable homicide
rates 16% experienced decreases and 22%
experienced increases so some of these places are experience increases they are
large cities and that’s really driving the national average but still if you do
the math six so in this case sixty-eight seventy eight percent of places had
stable or decreasing homicide rates so more than three-quarters of the
jurisdictions that we looked at and so you know this really I just think adds a
little bit of detail to that to what we’ve already heard but drilling down to
the jurisdictional level and thinking about what is happening outside of large
cities where a large proportion of the population
lives is important when we think about these kind of questions we look forward
to questions to answer any questions what they said I haven’t heard and I
think we’re all kind of sitting here thinking that nobody nobody has said
anything that anybody reasonably thoughtful about these issues would
disagree with so far I may break that trend we’ll see so I want to make three
points so one is that Adams said this or rather Thomas has said this already and
I want to say it again in a slightly more emphatic way that the the national
conversation about this has focused on this issue of movement and trend or no
trend we should not think that that’s the the issue the issue is the
steady-state and the baseline because in the midst of this long national crime
decline which is which is real one of the things that we’re really good at in
in criminal justice is counting bodies and so these are these are real real
numbers they are to be relied upon and they show both this long national
decline which is to be celebrated and what what we also all know is that in
all big cities and in lots and lots and lots of other cities there are
particular communities that have while they’ve come down usually from the the
worst years of the 1990s people are living in unconscionable conditions of
persistent violence trauma and fear and we as a nation have taken that as normal
and so when things change we focus on the change the scandal is what’s normal
and in in this moment where we’re debating these small changes and the the
national homicide rate has had come down to between four and five four hundred
thousand and is now edging back up toward five there are places in in
communities all of their communities and cities all over the country where
especially young men of color are experiencing persistent homicide rates
of over five hundred per hundred thousand year after year after year
after year that’s the story and everything we know about the the
increases are that they are in those same places those same communities those
same people this is not reaching out into different demographics it’s not
reaching out into different communities it’s not reaching out into places that
have not experienced this problem it is a worsening among the people and places
that have been enduring this forever so the it’s it’s an important question
about what’s driving the changes but we should not make the mistake of thinking
that that is the issue that is not the issue the issue is we have been living
with this forever and we have not acted effectively around it and and that thing
we have been living with forever is getting somewhat worse in some places
the second thing that I would say is that we are flying blind on this which
is unconscionable so you you’ve just heard a more granular and refined
analysis about what’s going on then you can get from the federal government of
the United States the best work on this has been done by by journalists so the
Marshall project itself and and its sister and brethren has done really good
analytic work on this the Brennan Center as an as an entity has done better
analysis and reporting on this than than any other single
academic or quasi academic institution we have because of the work you’ve done
the intuition that maybe this this calendar year will will look a little
bit better than we’ve been afraid of which just means that we’re going to be
at best we’re going to be back to these unconscionable conditions that we’ve
been living with all these years and my I don’t know Jim what was behind the
analysis that you just presented but my guess is you did that in your spare time
right and that’s better than the Justice Department that’s unconscionable we’re
18 months behind the reality on the ground and all we’re getting from the
reporting by the national data sources on this which is overwhelmingly the FBI
in the UCR is it’s up a little bit or down a little bit in these political
jurisdictions we don’t know what’s going on we don’t know what’s behind it we
have no understanding of the range of of what’s driving the incidents whether
that mix is different in different places it’s ridiculous
and we know that a lot of what we’re getting is wrong I mean we know it’s
wrong so out of work that’s many of you are familiar with we know for a fact now
the important reality that this kind of homicide is driven overwhelmingly by
groups and networks of high rate offenders we know that now the FBI will
tell you that there’s something under a thousand gang killings in the United
States a year when it’s probably closer to half or better than that because on
the Supplemental homicide report there’s a force choice and one box you can tick
his gangland slaying which goes back to Al Capone and they haven’t updated it
since then so when there were a couple of Ebola
patients who might have been coming into the country there was an entire
apparatus of public health monitoring and surveillance and clinical
intervention and epidemiology and emergency planning and the mobilization
of treatment and isolation protocols and stockpiling of pharmaceuticals and of
course all of that was linked to a continuous program of deep research and
virology country hasn’t done anything on this and if you if you do this work or
if you cover this work you know that the city’s affected are entirely on their
own they have gotten essentially no help from the states that they’re in there is
no thoughtful or measured or or even framed national strategy about dealing
with this the way we’re dealing with this is debating on the basis of poor
information whether it’s a trend or not we’re not doing anything and the third
point I’d make is that there are things that work around these urban homicide
issues some of the people here will be part of the panel tomorrow that will be
talking about this there are things that work and there’s nothing about those
things that work that suggest that they would work last year but they won’t work
today because things are 15% worse in that city than they are last year we are
not paying any meaningful attention to the small but important portfolio of
interventions that we know are effective around these issues and just to say it
again the cities are floundering the states are missing in action and the
federal government is effectively missing in action and we operationally
can do a better job of this morally and socially and politically we should
consider an obligation to do a better job than this
and instead we get these panels all right thank you that’s a excellent start
for the coalition objective the panel by the way before we sort of go any further
this initially had been sort of a discussion about analyzing that this
year’s you see our numbers for the media and I want to get a sense of how many of
you are reporters or journalists or write about crime data in some capacity
a few of you okay excellent so we can we can keep that in
mind thankfully you answered most of the
questions I had already prepared so I’ll ask one for each of you and then maybe
give a chance for the audience I think we’ve got about 15 or 20 minutes left
for the conversation I guess my question is and you’ve touched on this a little
bit implicitly but what are some of the most common mistakes you see either in
journalists or academic writing when people write about crime data and about
the UCR what are the things that you persistently notice that are omitted or
sort of crimes and writing about crime and I’ll open those to any of you and I
would go first just to plead guilty having been a crime reporter for five
years myself I’d lots of bad stories and most of them were bad because I tried to
explain whether crime was going up or down and how bad it wasn’t what was
going on simply by calling the Chief of Police and allowing the chief to have
the beginning the middle and the end of the story literally and and I think
that’s still what goes on today 20 25 years later it’s the chief is an
important obviously player and voice and has an important perspective but there
are so many other players and voices and systems that have to be brought into the
conversation if you’re going to have effective anti violence strategies
whether they’re on the health side or all kinds of other agencies certainly
Community Supervision people are responsible for Corrections and
probation and parole and supervising those people who are at high risk for
both committing and for victimization they’d ever get a phone call
they never they’re never drawn into a conversation that I shouldn’t say never
right very rarely brought into a conversation that actually acknowledges
the the critical role that they play in overall strategies to reduce violence Thanks and so I think there’s just a
just a quick story illustrative example about a story that got picked up by the
New York Times in 2015 when there was an early release of mid-year crime data
which was kind of at the beginning of this conversation about are we seeing a
crime trend and basically what The Times did was they identified 10 cities where
there had been large increases in crime during that first six months of 2015 and
then use this as evidence that this was a early early warning of of a of a crime
wave and used fairly strong language in the way they reported this and but so
these were ten large cities the including Milwaukee st. Louis Baltimore
Chicago Dallas other places but they were only ten of the 60 big a’ cities of
fell into that so that the population range that they represented they could
have chosen and not any of 60 cities but they decided to represent these ten and
I think this what this shows is that there’s a danger of over generalization
from small numbers of places that are selected because they do represent some
kind of change and so one one over generalization and to taking short run
numbers and statistics as the beginning of a trend when really it was too too
early to tell and what we saw in those ten places
kind of fast forward a year many of them after a period of increase then the
crime rate rent went down it was a fluctuation some of them did go on to
increase to experience sustained increases but this generated a
of stories and got picked up by policy makers and politicians as evidence of
this burgeoning crime wave and of course like journalists avarice have this
responsibility and it’s easy I think to misinterpret data in ways that can
exaggerate what we’re actually seeing the story is different now there has
been more sustained change but still I think this is just an example of how
it’s very easy to misinterpret data also the other change when you’re looking at
percentage change it’s really easy to exaggerate change because if you it has
somewhere with a very low base rate when I was I do talk before at John Jay on
this topic and as an example I looked at another rare phenomenon and I found out
that that there had been a 300% increase in deaths of deaths by bee stings in the
UK every one year period the only reason of course was one years of one death by
a bee sting and the next year there were three deaths but if you look at the
headline it’s like oh my god there’s like a swarm of killer bees descending
over the over the UK and and so I you know sorry to be flippant but it’s you
know it’s very easy to misinterpret the percentage changes when you’re looking
at these often very very phenomena if you’re in a small jurisdiction where
there is not been much violence a big percentage change can look it can look
fairly alarming when actually it may just be a normal fluctuation so you know
in terms of I candidly I want to do something right now that I almost never
do which is I want to pick a fight I respect in greatly and value the
companion to the college college ship of PU Veera the Brennan Center but the and
and this has been a very respectful conversation but I do essentially hear
three statements downplaying a massive increase in
homicide and I think that that’s a problem you can you can slice in
this data in many different ways you can say look at the less populous cities
when in fact more people live in the biggest cities if you look at all of the
cities for you know a hundred thousand people and up more than half of those
cities have experienced an increase in violent crime last year 59% of them and
experienced an increase over the two years if you look at just the you know
the top a hundred largest cities because this crimes spike is more pronounced in
the larger cities it’s significantly more than half and and I have to say I
have to say that if progressives won’t address violent crime squarely if they
will only change the subject if they will only minimize if they will only say
it’s calm that they will only say it’s complicated well then you know who
speaks to violent crime it will be other it will be law and order types like
Trump and Sessions that’s a real problem and we owe it to the people that we
fight for as progressives I consider myself a committed progressive we owe it
to those people not to generate a a firm ative policy response aimed directly at
homicide and violent crime and that needs to be elevated to the top of our
agenda the other thing is I just want to emphasize this the irony is we have a
great story to tell the leaders in this field are progressives and the other
things that we do the other the other reforms that we are pushing as
progressives are consistent with crime reduction we don’t have to change the
subject on this issue and we don’t have to minimize we don’t have to say it’s
complicated although it certainly is complicated but Jesus 22% over two years
three thousand more homicides per year in 2016 than 2014 I don’t think it’s
that complicated just respond so I think that I would
never say that this that what we’re saying the data is not a problem I would
never say that it’s not something we need to do something about I think that
the problem is that it can easily be characterized in ways that the response
is a broad-brush response which is applied nationally using the same
approach and when we say it’s complicated the fact is that it’s
playing out differently from from place to place in a response needs to be
different and as as David mentioned we there are where we are seeing big crime
site spikes and inner city areas we know there are things that we should be doing
and that we shouldn’t minimize those responses but we need to guard against a
knee-jerk reaction that is based on misinterpretation of data because there
are organizations that are providing a counterbalance of this to this potential
interpretation we’re in the middle of a crime wave and American carnage and
everything else that we’ve heard yeah I can speak to what I think are some of
the origins of this debate I don’t disagree with anything that tom has said
and I don’t just write I don’t think most of us do I don’t think anyone here
wants to minimize any any problem that exists with violent crime I think we all
agree that there are some solutions need it I think the problem is this all
started I think about a year ago when we saw now the President of the United
States say at the Republican National Convention the quote is something like a
decade of progress worth of controlling violent crime is being reversed by the
Obama administration any way you cut it with that data it’s just not true to
have to have violent crime goal from where it is today to where it was in
1991 homicides in New York would have to increase by a rate of more than 300% and
that’s simply not going to happen so I think when you when you hear lies like
that and you hear just played in the statements it galvanizes so many of us I
know it galvanized me and my colleagues to you know be the countervailing vase
and the voice in the room and say that’s not true the problem is in that sort of
in that’s in that sort of contrarian space it can suck the oxygen out of the
room for the middle point which is there’s no crime wave decades of
progress aren’t being reversed but there are some spots where we
affirmative answers let’s figure out those answers that’s where I think the
origin the debate is and I think where we all the great but I’m not going to
speak real I’ll just say I think that that’s a good point and I have to say I
don’t really know the answer as a matter of politics I was speaking with a
colleague who works in the media who’s here now and you know if one side is
shouting as a matter of political strategy do you strap do shout back or
do you III don’t I don’t presume to know but I do know that the way we’re talking
about these issues ensures I worry that the proper attention to this persistent
social phenomenon whether or not it’s increasing or decreasing that causes
enormous suffering remember that you know homicide for young men is the third
leading cause of death for Latino young men it’s the second leading cause of
death for african-american young men it’s the first leading cause of death
and it causes more deaths than the entire other top nine causes of death
that is striking if that doesn’t mobilize you note that
for every homicide the conservative F s estimates are that every homicide costs
us collectively lest we think that this is just somebody else’s problem about
seven million dollars that’s the low estimate the high estimate is about
seventeen and I’m only giving you the credible estimates the ones that are in
peer review peer reviewed journals so we have to we have to elevate this issue in
a way but in in a way that avoids this fear mongering because I do think we
need to have countervailing messages when people say oh this is American
carnage it isn’t this is a nationwide crime wave it isn’t it’s not it’s also
not about immigration it’s also – as far as we can tell not about opioids or
drugs we need to get under the hood as to as
to what this is and as David said use some of the strategies that have already
been demonstrated to work so we have just a few minutes left but I wanted to
give people a chance if there are questions that any of you in the
audience have and want to bring to the panel yeah let me bring you good
afternoon Frank Gazala I’m on faculty here at John
Jay this morning I was writing a question
for class I’m going for an exam we want to give tomorrow and it’s about the
limitations of the Uniform Crime Report as a reflection of the true crime rate
and hearing you all speak today I’m just wondering to what extent the Uniform
Crime Report as that reflection of the true crime rate compares with something
like the National Crime Victimization survey recognizing that it doesn’t
include murder rates but one of the things we talk about is a much more
representative sample you know so I think that when you can get the UC our
rates and analysis and NCVS analysis to compare and triangulate do you have a
much better picture you know of the crime rates so could you just address
how that comparison matches up so I asked an excellent point I mean there’s
there’s – when you look at the FBI FBI crime reports there’s two stages right
it requires that someone reports a crime to the police for the for the UCR data
we’re looking at and then it requires that that police jurisdiction makes a
report to the FBI and so there’s that’s also another shortfall is that there is
a fairly high non-response rate to the UCR data and so so that they use
estimation techniques as well so so any estimate of crime of course is is
imperfect and they’re less serious the crime the more likely there is to be a
gap I mean I think that one of the reasons and I think that David mentioned
there so that the homicide data is compelling and
important is because obviously homicide is an incredibly important thing to
measure but also because it’s one of the things that are best is generally well
reported there’s a body usually there’s a report made when someone when there’s
a homicide so there is this gap I think that tracking homicide data is a more
reliable measure than other than other other types of crime but I mean if we
look a property crime you look at data over time yes there’s an imperfect
perfect measure but yes we also see property crime going down so also I
think there are very different trends and ease in these different and types of
crime then beyond there there’s there’s almost entirely a analytic void behind
those numbers so we have a lot of confidence in the body count and in the
reporting of the body count that’s all we know right so there was a public
health report just recently saying that sort of akin to what we’re talking about
here there’s been an historic reversal in life expectancy in the United States
and the people who authored that report were able to say and we can trace that
to diseases associated with the opioid epidemic and alcoholism it is being felt
among these particular demographics in particular places there’s a story that
they can tell out of the medical reporting that we cannot tell about
crime because it’s as if there were no medical information except there was a
death not who not where while we look out where but not what demographic not
what context not what’s what cause we know almost nothing behind
beyond the raw numbers all right on that note we should
probably sadly wrap this up although I feel like
I could talk for another hour about all these issues I want to thank all of our
panelists so much for your insights today thank you everybody for attending
the discussion you

2 Replies to “Uniform Crime Report Analysis”

  1. duck u lawyer men are so brain washed go get the flickers that lie to kill there own people and slave.oh fuck hang on u all from usa u masters of bulshiting and making ya people be leave in voting for it .I thought tramp was good but really you going to war on tassels and USA own by queen really U.N. rules and laws own everyone's ass fast it .who watches them they full of shit bible is the laws books .we kiwis got Norman leader government .she young and we maori thought it was grate joke .we no we on right path as long as u greedy law makers learn I. 15 years new Zealand people want or need any law of crime fighting governments that can't look after there own back yard be for drugging killing and lien playing with other lands that don't believe the bible that laws make from should be the laws of all men.cause that's the lies you flickers respect to have your people to be leave not us nor any real black race that still has there ways in wheeling be for ya law kings (queens and duck fucks con us to trust.cause we say I.g queen lady own the treaty ya daddy sign and if u don't mind we don't need to have money and pay bills the bankers think new zealand owes u tool stole the devils eyes of power we won't be lead but the men from lands u law pushers tucked will be only to happy to live by in New Zealand .cause our Norman government going to bring the book to this place as we all no u all going to get God's laws conning to fuck ya little power trips brain wash lies to ya own not us.time comming I hope Russia and China sits back waits cause that Russian he hard but his people love him .China water and air ducked they need land USA burning and filling apart but who cares teach them for not hang the real crime behind 9/11 and giving trump hard time .body parts needed take a homeless person in .crime there um crime in government heads having kids slaved at UK and USA .bash or Clintons fuck nos oh yeah cia or fbi the real shooters crime there to but to big for you small law men to be told truth I guess and u all to afraid you lose I guess to tell the truth.lol fuckn what a joke you law analyzers are can't even get the crime heads as they to big and powerful and run over ya crime fighting dreams.

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