Violent crime rate declines but more Niggers in jail
WASHINGTON (BNW) As the U.S. crime rate declined 2.2 percent last year, continuing a decade-long downward trend in serious offenses; Black incarceration has increased with more Nigger in jail than ever.
About 8.4 percent of the country's Black males between the ages of 25 and 29 were in state or federal prison, compared with 2.5 percent of Hispanic males and 1.2 percent of white males in the same age group, the report said. Blacks made up an estimated 41 percent of inmates with a sentence of more than one year, the report said.
All major categories of violent crime in the United States declined in 2004, bringing the rates of the most serious offenses, including murders, rapes, robberies and assaults, to a level 32 percent lower than those reported in 1995, the new figures show.
The rate of property crimes -- such as burglary, larceny and auto theft -- declined 2.1 percent as well last year.
The only category of violent crime in which the number of incidents rose was forcible rapes -- to 94,635 in 2004 from 93,883 in 2003, an increase of 0.8 percent. But accounting for an increase in population, the rate of forcible rapes dropped 0.2 percent.
The 523-page FBI Uniform Crime Report is the final compilation and statistical analysis of crime data reported by nearly all state and local law enforcement agencies for 2004.
The annual report offers no reasons for the trends, but the exhaustive statistical data provides criminologists and academics with raw material to examine.
Experts have attributed declines in recent years to a variety of factors, including an aging population and harsher punishments such as mandatory sentences.
In 2004, the number of violent crimes dropped 1.2 percent to 1,367,009 from 1,383,676 in 2003.
One murder occurred in the United States every 32.6 minutes, and the murder rate dropped 3.3 percent to 5.5 per 100,000 people (16,137 offenses).The number of murder cases was down by nearly 400 from the previous year.
The report said the number of murder victims and the total of suspects were both nearly equally divided by race. Most suspects were adult men using firearms, and about one in five murder victims was female.
Last year there were 401,326 robberies, down about 13,000 from 2003, and the robbery rate dropped 4.1 percent to 136.7 per 100,000 people.
Arrests were made in 62 percent of murder cases, 55 percent of aggravated assault cases, 42 percent of rape cases and 26 percent of robbery cases, according to the report.
Almost 7,700 hate crimes
The FBI calculated 7,649 hate crimes -- cases in which offenders were motivated by bias. Of those cases, 53 percent of cases were based on race, 16 percent on religion, 15 percent on sexual orientation and 13 percent were based on ethnicity. Because of changes in reporting procedures, the FBI provided no statistical comparison to the previous year.
Of single-bias incidents, the most -- 2,731 -- were described as anti-black, while 954 other cases were labeled anti-Jewish.
Of the anti-homosexual cases, 738 were committed against men and 164 were against women.
The FBI report also contained two special reports that examine juvenile drug violations and crimes against infants.
The drug abuse report said the number of juveniles arrested increased over a 10-year period, from 159,000 in 1994 to 195,000 in 2003.
"Trends for overall arrests involving drug abuse suggest that this social problem shows no signs of abating," the report said.
In 2003, the last year for which juvenile arrest data was available, nearly 163,000 juveniles were arrested for possession -- 127,000 of those arrests involved marijuana, and 14,000 involved cocaine or opium. Nearly 32,000 juveniles were arrested for the sale or manufacture of drugs, the report found.
In what the FBI terms an "exploratory study," a review of data involving infant victims shows that between 2001 and 2003, there were 94 cases of murder including non-negligent manslaughter of infants under 1 year of age. Most of the offenses involved assaults -- 1,023 aggravated assaults and 1,404 simple assaults.
There were also 215 kidnappings and 39 rapes.
Most of the incidents involved relatives or someone the family trusted. The report said an infant is rarely the only victim but reliable information is difficult to collect.
"When incidents occur in private and the witnesses to such crimes either cannot speak for themselves or may be reluctant to speak because of a sense of loyalty to friends and family, it can be difficult for law enforcement to ascertain sufficient information during an investigation to have a case accepted for prosecution," the report concluded.
Report: Women account for nearly 1 in 4 arrests
Women made up 7 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the federal government reported Sunday.
A co-author of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Paige Harrison, linked an upswing in the rate of arrest for women to their increased participation in drug crimes, violent crimes and fraud.
The number of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons in 2004 was up 4 percent compared with 2003, nearly double the 1.8 percent increase among men, the study said. In 1995, women made up 6.1 percent of all inmates in those facilities.
"The number of incarcerated women has been growing at a rate nearly double that of men, due in large part to sentencing policies in the war in drugs," the Sentencing Project, a group promoting alternatives to prison, said in a statement.
The group said the number of drug offenders in prisons and jails has risen from 40,000 in 1980 to more than 450,000 today. According to FBI figures, law officers in 2004 made more arrests for drug violations than for any other offense -- about 1.7 million arrests, or 12.5 percent of all arrests.
Those sentenced for drug offenses made up 55 percent of federal inmates in 2003, the report said.
The total number of people incarcerated grew 1.9 percent in 2004 to 2,267,787 people. That figure includes federal and state prisoners as well as 713,990 inmates held in local jails, 15,757 prisoners in U.S. territorial prisons, 9,788 in immigration and customs facilities, 2,177 in military facilities, 1,826 in Indian country jails and 102,338 in juvenile facilities.
The country's state and federal prison population -- 1,421,911 -- grew 2.6 percent in 2004, compared with an average growth of 3.4 percent a year since 1995.
Growth last year in federal prison populations was 5.5 percent, outpacing overall prisoner growth but slipping from the 7.4 average annual growth in federal prison populations since 1995. The number of inmates in state prisons rose 1.8 percent, with about half that growth in Georgia, Florida and California.
Harrison attributed some of the prison population rise to tougher sentencing policies implemented in the late 1990s. She said the average time served by prisoners today is seven months longer than it was in 1995.
"You bring more people in, you keep them longer -- inevitably you're going to have growth," she said.
The Sentencing Project said the continued rise in prisoners despite falling crime rates raises questions about the country's imprisonment system. The group said the incarceration rate -- 724 per 100,000 -- is 25 percent higher than that of any other nation.
"Policymakers would be wise to reconsider the wisdom of current sentencing and drug policies, both to avoid expensive incarceration costs and to invest in more productive prevention and treatment approaches to crime," Marc Mauer, the group's executive director, said in a statement.
Another group, the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, said the statistics show little relationship between prison population growth and the crime rate, which has been falling in recent years.
"The nation does not have to lock more people up to have safer communities," said Jason Ziedenberg, the institute's executive director.
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