Release Date:  September 26, 2016
Contact:  Michael Rushford
(916) 446-0345

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual Crime in the United States report today. The final report confirms that California’s crime increase in 2015 was substantially worse than the changes in the nation as a whole, according to the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

For the nation as a whole, the violent crime rate increased 3.0%, while California’s rate increased two and a half times as much, 7.6%. (All rates are reported as number of crimes per 100,000 population.) The property crime rate for the nation as a whole declined 3.4%, while California’s increased 7.2%. That is, California’s net change in property crime rate was 10.6% greater than the nation as a whole.

Looking at the country’s ten largest states, all nine of the others had decreases in property crime. Georgia had the largest decline at 10.0%, while Florida had the smallest at 4.1%. California alone had an increase in property crime, and a substantial one.

In late 2011, the Legislature passed the Realignment bill that changed the place of confinement for lower-tier felons from state prisons to already overcrowded county jails. Population caps in jails resulted in prisoner releases. Proposition 47 in November 2014 further reduced jail time by converting many of these felonies to misdemeanors. “Clearly, something is happening in California that is different from what is happening in the nation as a whole and in other large states,” said CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger. “Our crime trends are worse, and the greatest effect is in property crime. That is exactly what we would expect from putting more criminals on the street, as Realignment and Proposition 47 have done,” he added.

The FBI report, Crime in the United States -- 2015, is available at:

CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger is available for comment at 916-446-0345.