Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No More Easy Access to Crime Statistics

Get ready to say goodbye to another jewel in the demographic reference genre. The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online is soon to join the Statistical Abstract in the potter's field of indigent projects, victims of the defunding of American civic life.

Budget cuts at the Bureau of Justice Statistics are likely the death knell for the Sourcebook, which was compiled for the past four decades by the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany. The loss of easy access to statistics on crime and imprisonment is unfortunate, since the U.S. has the highest imprisonment rate in the world (743 people in prison per 100,000 population--well ahead of second place Rwanda with a rate of 595); 7 million American adults are on probation, in prison, or on parole; and federal, state, and local government spending on our bloated justice system now surpasses $200 billion a year.

Maybe eliminating easy access to these horrific statistics is the point.

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