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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation. Any gift you can make today will be matched by other donors and go twice as far.

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—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Section I: Crime & Punishment in the U.S.

Police

  • Cases of "justifiable homicide" by police in 199835: 367
  • Number of police killed in the line of duty, 199836: 61
  • Percent change in rate of "justifiable homicides", 1980-199837: -33%
  • Percent change in rate of murder of police officers in the line of duty, 1980-199838: -64%
  • Percent of index crimes (serious crimes tracked by the FBI) where the police are able to solve the crime by arrest, 199939: 21%
  • Number of motor vehicle thefts known to the police, 199940: 956,903
  • Percent of motor vehicle thefts cleared by arrest, 199941: 14.9%
  • Number of burglaries known to the police, 199942: 1,751,332
  • Percent of burglaries cleared by arrest, 199943: 13.7%
  • Number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters known to the police, 199944: 12,266
  • Percent of murders and non-negligent manslaughters cleared by arrest, 199945: 69.1%
  • Percent violent crime cleared by police, 197146: 46.5%
  • Percent violent crime cleared by police, 199947: 50.0%
  • Percent property crime cleared by police, 197148: 15.7%
  • Percent property crime cleared by police, 199949: 17.5%

This page is an excerpt from The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industry (April 2003) by Peter Wagner, published by the Western Prison Project and the Prison Policy Initiative.

Footnotes

35 Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2001, The National Data Book. Table 319

36 Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2001, The National Data Book. Table 319

37 Calculation Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2001, The National Data Book. Table 319

38 Calculation, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2001, The National Data Book. Table 319

39 The precise term is “cleared by arrests” and includes a limited number of circumstances other than arrest such as suicide of the prime suspect. In essence, the police consider the crime solved. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

40 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

41 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

42 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

43 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

44 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

45 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.19.

46 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.20.

47 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.20.

48 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.20.

49 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000, Table 4.20.

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Events

  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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