Thursday, September 18, 2008

DOJ Crime Statistics in a 'Gif'

The Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics' website has a section entitled "Key Crime & Justice Facts at a Glance". The site contains charts and brief statements of findings with links to full size charts, additional information about the charts and findings, and the data that support the chart. The charts can be clicked on for additional links. The chart shown above, for example, shows that drug arrests are increasing: in 1970 there were 322,000 arrests; in 2006, that number was 1,693,100(!) According to the site, there are trend charts suitable for overheads and handouts available from the DOJ.

These statistics can be used in several ways in criminal defense investigations including: legislation, tracking policy changes, sentencing mitigation, and in advocacy for finding alternatives to incarceration. At the rate the chart is increasing, the alternatives are worth looking for.

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