Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Today’s Decrease in the UCR Numbers Is Due to Cities and States Following a Smart-on-Crime Rather Than Tough-on-Crime Approach, Says CAP’s Ed Chung
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Today’s Decrease in the UCR Numbers Is Due to Cities and States Following a Smart-on-Crime Rather Than Tough-on-Crime Approach, Says CAP’s Ed Chung

Washington, D.C. — Today, the FBI released its annual Unified Crime Report (UCR), which provides statistics on crime rates for 2017. The report shows that the violent crime rate dropped by 0.9 percent since 2016 and 16.5 percent since 2008. Ed Chung, vice president of Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The 2017 crime numbers fly in the face of rhetoric by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who describe a country overrun by violence in order to justify their ineffective, so-called tough-on-crime policies of increased arrests and mass incarceration. The UCR  shows that crime is near record lows—and it has been for years. Though the Trump administration has been quick to spread fear by ignoring or misinterpreting crime data, the 2017 numbers are actually the continuation of a trend that has been in place for almost 30 years.

In fact, the decrease in crime is a testament to the hard work of state and local leaders, who are pushing back against the tough-on-crime agenda and embracing smarter, fairer, and more effective approaches. If President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are really serious about strengthening public safety, they would advocate for what the evidence shows works: a smart-on-crime rather than a tough-on-crime approach.

For more information or to speak to an expert contact, Julia Cusick at 202-495-3682 or jcusick@americanprogres.org.