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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Crime Statistics

There are two major sources for U.S. crime statistics:

(1) The National Crime Victimization Survey, which is compiled annually by the Bureau of Justice Statistics based on a survey sent to a random sample of the population.

(2) The FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which is based on crimes reported to the police and posted on the FBI Web site (www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm).

Some additional resources:

  1. Many of the key findings from the Survey and Report are included in the American Jurisprudence 2nd Desk Book.
  2. The Bureau of Justice Statistics posts statistics about U.S. crime, victims, criminals, courts, police, jails and prisons.
  3. The Crimes & Crime Rates page from the Census.gov website.
  4. The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (unclear whether this is still being updated)
  5. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) provides detailed information on Federal crime enforcement. In addition to the materials available online, you can call TRAC to order data back to 1974.
  6. Corrections.com links to additional sources for crime statistics.

Historical Information: In addition to the materials discussed above, check out the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

Illegal Drugs: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration posts statistics on illegal drug use and law enforcement in the U.S.

Sentencing Statistics: The United States Sentencing Commission posts Federal sentencing statistics by state. New York State's Division of Criminal Justice Services reports annually on the processing of state felony cases. Custom reports can be requested by contacting the Division's Crime Reporting and Statistical Services department (518-457-5837 or 1-800-262-3257).

State and Local Statistics: State and local crime statistics are often available from corrections departments. Links to state corrections department Web sites are posted on Corrections.com. Additional information may be posted on prosecutor Web sites; links are posted on Prosecutors on the Web.

City-Wide Statistics: The BOJ compiles statistics on the larger U.S. metropolitan areas (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs).

College Campuses: Crime statistics for college campuses are posted at http://ope.ed.gov/security.

See Also
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Criminal Law
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Guns and Other Firearms
Prisons, Prisoners and Jails
United States Sentencing Commission

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman