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After 25 years, the crime wave is back – but Republicans refuse to talk about it

Thanks to tough-on-crime policies put into place during the Reagan years, we’ve enjoyed nearly 21 consecutive years of reduced crime since the early 1990s. It was one of the greatest and only positive social trends in this country over the past generation, resulting in a 60 percent decline in violent crime. Now, thanks to a reversal of those policies, the crime wave is back. But instead of hanging this political vulnerability around the necks of Democrat politicians, Republicans are joining in the push to reduce incarceration even more and convincing Trump to go even further.

Last Tuesday, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), and it showed that “among U.S. residents age 12 or older, the number of violent-crime victims rose from 2.7 million in 2015 to 3.3 million in 2018, an increase of 604,000 victims.” This is significant because during every year between 1994 and 2015, the numbers in the NCVS declined.

We were beginning to think that the decline in violent crime would be a permanent trend. But the trend only persisted because bad guys were actually being locked up. That is no longer the case. The rate of violent crime is almost perfectly inverse to the rate of incarceration. Here is a chart of the murder rate from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting juxtaposed to the federal prison population.  READ MORE…

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