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Reports of violent crime in US at 30-year low, DOJ statistics show

[JURIST] Reports of violent crime in the US in 2004 were at their lowest level since the US Department of Justice began compiling statistics 32 years ago, according to a report [PDF text; press release] released Sunday. The Bureau of Justice Statistics study mirrors an FBI report earlier this year [JURIST report] which suggested that murder and violent crime rates were down. Those who are multiracial were reportedly victimized at higher rates than others, with a level of 51.6 per thousand, with blacks victimized at a rate of 26 per thousand and whites at 21 per thousand. Youths, at a rate of 49.7 per thousand, and males, with a rate of 25, were also more likely to be victimized than their elders or females. In addition, 24 million violent and property crimes were reported, echoing the rate reported in 2003. Although guns were used in only 6 percent of non-lethal violent crimes, down 11 percent from the decade-earlier rate, they were used in 71 percent of 2003 murders committed, the most recent year reported. 49 percent of murder victims were black in 2003, the same rate as whites. The report said the violent crime rate fell 57 percent while the crime rate for property fell by 50 percent from 1993 through 2004. The Justice Policy Institute [advocacy website] has said the statistics highlight the need to stop overzealous spending on incarceration in favor of state involvement in the reduction of crime and community building. Reuters has more.

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