Murder and Violent Crime Are Declining Again

The latest crime figures are out from the FBI, and both murder and violent crime in general ticked down in 2017 after rising for a couple of years:

Property crime (burglary, theft, etc.) was also down, continuing a steady downward trend of over two decades:

Crime data always has some noise in it, and small spikes up and down generally don’t mean anything. There really was a small spike in murder rates in 2015 and 2016, mostly due to sudden large increases in a handful of big cities, but we still don’t really know what caused it. However, it appears that the spike is over, and murder is probably now returning to its old trendline.

BY THE WAY: Since someone is bound to ask, none of the recent data has anything to do with lead. The decline in lead poisoning of small children was responsible for much of the overall decline in crime from 1991 to 2010, but it has nothing to do with small spikes from year to year or city to city. At this point, lead has probably had all the effect it’s going to have, and further changes in the crime rate have other causes.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate