The state Department of Justice just sent me the new, 2007 crime statistics, and here is what they show:--235 juveniles were arrested for murder, 5.0 per 100,000 population age 10-17, the same rate as in 1958 (and lower than any year in between).--241 juveniles were arrested for rape, the lowest level since that offense was first tabulated in 1957 (when 331 juveniles were arrested for rape in a population less than one-third today's).--6,880 juveniles were arrested for robbery, the lowest rate since 1968.--10,607 juveniles were arrested for aggravated assault, about the same rate as in 1973, when assault was defined much more narrowly.--66,191 juveniles were arrested for felonies, the lowest rate since the first statewide crime report in 1954.--200,820 juveniles were arrested for all criminal offenses, the lowest rate since 1966, when many fewer juvenile offenses were subject to criminal arrest (most were then defined as "status" offenses)Are readers and viewers of California's news media aware that juvenile crime, especially serious crime, is at an historic low? You can ask around, but I'm betting that the answer is "no." In fact, I'd bet that far more think juvenile crime, violence, and murder are rising to record peaks. Isn't that the impression many interest groups and the news media constantly present?Suppose the news media were to present these facts, easily documented and checked, to citizens. Imagine the impact of the statements: "Youths today are no more likely to commit murder and other serious crime than youths of the 1950s...In fact, middle-aged crime rates have skyrocketed to the point that 40-agers actually present a bigger crime problem now than juveniles do..."If believed--a big if--California's entire crime debate would be turned upside down. Which, if I may be cynical, is exactly why the truth about crime trends will not be presented in the media. There are too many interest groups invested in lending the opposite impression, and the news media simply goes along.best regards,Mike MalesCenter on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
A weekly discussion of a topic important to Californians
August 27, 2008
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to email@example.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.
On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.