Preliminary data indicates that, for the third year in a row, the rate of violent crime in the United States is down. It appears that property crime also declined, for the seventh straight year.
Reported crime is down nationally for 2009. That is good news and goes against the conventional wisdom that crime will increase during a recession. The bad news is that the U.S. still has too much street crime. And of course these figures do not take into account white-collar crimes. And the really bad news is that sentencing policy continues to be disconnected from either fiscal reality, sound penal policies, or street crime rates since the 1990s.
States like Idaho continue to add inmates and increase sentences while cutting budgets and limiting treatment options.