Crime in the United States

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Crime and Justice

Trends in the

United States

During the Past

Three Decades

January 31, 2000

Prepared for

National Institute of Justice

Prepared by

Douglas McDonald

Peter Finn

Cambridge, MA

Lexington, MA

Hadley, MA

Bethesda, MD

Washington, DC

Chicago, IL

Cairo, Egypt

Johannesburg, South Africa

Abt Associates Inc.

55 Wheeler Street

Cambridge, MA 02138

Abt Associates Inc. Crime and Justice Trends in the United States During the Past Three Decades i

Contents

The Course of Crime During the Past Three Decades ....................................................... 2

Homicide and Other Violent Crimes ........................................................................... 2

Guns ............................................................................................................................. 8

Hate Crimes – A Newly Targeted Offense .................................................................. 9

Drug Abuse and Worldwide Trafficking ................................................................... 10

Alcohol and Crime ..................................................................................................... 11

The Costs of Substance Abuse ................................................................................... 12

Property Crime Rates Are Declining ......................................................................... 12

The High Cost of Personal Crimes ............................................................................ 14

White Collar/Economic Crimes Continue ................................................................. 15

Environmental Crimes – Newly Defined Offenses ................................................... 16

Immigration Offenses – More Offenders, Stiffer Penalties ....................................... 16

Increasing Use of Computers and Advanced Technologies by Criminals ................ 17

The “Globalization” of Crime...