Arizona Crime Trends: A System Review
High Level Overview/Fact Sheet
Arizona Crime Trends: A System Review, a report by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, found that the state ranks number one -- over all other 49 states -- in Crime Index, property crime and motor vehicle theft. Arizona also ranks in the top 10 nationally for murder, robbery, burglary, and larceny-theft. Specifically, Arizona is seventh in the nation for murder, tenth in robbery, seventh for burglary, and third in larceny-theft.
Our mission is to sustain and enhance the coordination, cohesiveness, productivity and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Arizona
VICTIMIZATION T h e trend of annually declining violent c r i m e rates began after 1993. According t o the NCVS report, the annual national violent crime rate has decreased about 50 percent since that time. O f the 5.7 million violent crimes (rape, s e x u a l assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault), the decrease i n violent victimization was attributed to a decrease in simple assaults. Declines in the other violent crime categories were not statistically significant. S i n c e 1992, males and females were victims of simple assault at similar r a t e s . In previous years, males suffered more simple assault than females. D u r i n g that same time period, A r i z o n a moved from the sixth highest rate of motor vehicle theft in 1991 to the number o n e ranked state in the nation b y 2001. "Arizona's motor vehicle t h e f t rate is 40.9 percent greater than the second ranked state o f Nevada. We are leading the nation in motor vehicle theft by a huge margin.
Motor Vehicle Theft 1991/ 2001Rate (Percent Change) Under 18 18/Older Total 5 0 / 2 7 . 8 (-44.8%) 32/70.1 (119%) 82/97.1 (8%)
Arizona Crime Rate occurring per 100,000 inhabitants:
Offense Crime Index Violent Crime Murder Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault Property Crime Burglary Larceny-Theft Motor Vehicle Theft 1991 Rate (National Rank) 7405.6 (3) 670.7 (18) 7.8 (20) 42.4 (20) 165.7 (21) 454.8 (15) 6734.9 (3) 1607.5 (5) 4266.3 (2) 861.1 (6) 2001 Rate (National Rank) 6077.4 (1) 540.3 (15) 7.5 (7) 28.6 (31) 167.1 (10) 337.1 (16) 5537.1 (1) 1032.9 (7) 3520.6 (3) 983.6 (1)
Contributing factors to Arizona's new prominence in Crime Index is directly related to the state's dramatic population increase since 1991: ? Our population grew more than three times faster than the rest of the nation between 1991 and 2001. ? Since 1991, the population in Arizona has nearly doubled, increasing 41.5 percent in contrast to a 12.9 percent national average The substantial population shift in Arizona over the past 10-years has placed an increased burden on all components of the criminal justice system. This burden has been compounded by trying to maintain established levels of service.
Arizona Criminal Justice Commission 1110 West Washington, Suite 230 Phoenix, Arizona 85007 Toll Free 877.668.2252 (P) 602.364.1146 (F) 602.364.1175 www.acjc.state.az.us January 2003
CRIME Arizona has maintained a high crime ranking over the past 10years. In 1991, Arizona's overall c r i m e rate ranked third in the United States. In 2001, Arizona's ranking increased to number one in the nation. In 2000 and 2001, Arizona ranked number one in property crime rate in the United States. Arizona moved from the sixth highest rate of motor vehicle theft in 1991 to the number one ranked state in the nation in 2001. Arizona's motor vehicle theft rate is 40.9 percent g r e a t e r t h a n t h e 2 nd r a n k e d state and is separating itself from national motor vehicle theft rates. Two categories, murder and motor vehicle theft, tend to be most reliable in reporting accuracy and are two of the categories in which Arizona has shown a marked increase. Arizona placed in the top 10 during 2001 for murder (7), robbery (10), burglary (7), larceny-theft (3) and motor vehicle theft (1). The national property crime rate has decreased 28.9 percent over t h e past 10 years, while the Arizona property crime rate has fluctuated over this same time period and is down 18.8 percent from 1991 to 2001. W h e n comparing national and Arizona U C R trends for 2001 several similarities o c c u r r e d . Larceny-theft represented the largest category of offenses for both national and state trends, followed by burglary and motor vehicle theft. A r i z o n a h a s g o n e f r o m 3 rd t o 1 s t in total crime ranking while at the same time the overall crime rate has decreased. Upon closer i n s p e c t i o n , Arizona has experienced a decrease in the crime rate in all but two of the Part I crime c a t e g o r i e s , robbery and motor vehicle theft. ARREST Arrests (defined as each separate occasion in which an individual is taken into custody, notifiedto appear, or cited for an offense) for Part I crimes in Arizona are down from 1991 to 2001 with the exception of motor vehicle theft which is up 44.7 percent. T h e most dramatic difference between over and under 18 year old arrest rates is motor vehicle theft. Motor vehicle arrests decreased by 44 percent for under 18 year olds while increasing 119 percent for 18 and older year olds. The property crime rate in Arizona has decreased from 6,734.9 to 5,537.1 or 17.8 percent from 1991 t o 2001. The overall property crime arrest rate has decreased from 1,328.8 to 732.9 or 44.8 percent in the same period. COURTS The number of felonies filed by prosecutors in Superior Court from 1991 to 2001 has increased each year with the exception of 1993 and 1999. The number of felony cases filed has increased by more than 17,000 over the last 10 years. The difference in the number of felonies filed in Superior Court is 26,140 in 1991 to 43,462 in 2001. As such, the number of convictions and dismissals has also increased over the same period. The courts in Arizona processed more than 2.4 million filings in fiscal year 2001. Of the 2.4 million filings, almost 1.6 million were for criminal traffic and civil traffic v i o l a t i o n s , all handled by the limited jurisdiction courts in the state (Justice and Municipal Courts). F r o m FY1996 to FY2001, the number of juveniles with a petition filed increased by 22 percent although t h e r e was only a one percent increase in the number of referrals. Juveniles petitioned in Maricopa County increased by 36 percent, while juveniles petitioned in Pima County increased by 20 percent a n d by 4 percent in the rural counties overall. The number of juveniles petitioned for felony crimes against persons and property declined from FY1996 t o FY2001 (41 percent and 28 percent respectively), while the number o f juveniles petitioned for misdemeanor c r i m e s against persons and property increased over the six years (74 p e r c e n t and 12 percent respectively). In addition, juveniles petitioned for drug crimes increased by 67 percent. From FY1996 to FY2001, there w a s a one percent increase in juveniles referred to Juvenile Court while there was a one percent increase in juveniles transferred or direct filed in adult court. PROBATION The number of adult individuals o n probation in Arizona is increasing. Over, the past five years adults on probation have increased from 47,839 in 1996 to 61,872 in 2000. The number of individuals on Intensive Probation Supervision (IPS), the type of probation reserved for the more serious offenders has increased 36 percent from 1996. T h e number of juveniles on probation was up 2.4 percent to 9,625 at the end of FY2001. CORRECTIONS Males represented 88.2 percent of juveniles committed to ADJC, 1 1 . 8 percent were female, increasing from 9.6 percent in 1996 to 14.2 percent in 2000. The adult corrections population has increased substantially over the past 10 years. The prison population in Arizona increased f r o m 15,464 to 28,059 (81.5 percent). M a l e s made up more than 95 percent of the adult total corrections population. The time served by inmates has gradually increased over the past 10-years, primarily because of harsher penalties for dangerous and repetitive offenders under t h e Truth-in-Sentencing mandate. As the inmate population has continued to increase, so has the number o f authorized full-time equivalent ( F T E ) positions in the Department of Corrections. T h e r e has been a significant increase i n the percent of Latino and Native A m e r i c a n inmates and in the percent of inmates age 35 or over. There h a s also been a significant decrease i n the percent of inmates committed f o r crimes against property, coupled with moderate increases in the percent committed for each of f o u r other types of crimes, including crimes against persons, drug offenses, DUI and miscellaneous offenses. T h e two largest counties in Arizona, M a r i c o p a and Pima, have experienced different trend patterns in regard to juveniles committed to ADJC. J u v e n i l e s committed to ADJC from Maricopa County have decreased from 57.8 percent in FY1996 to 41.7 percent in FY2000, while juveniles committed from Pima County have increased from 18.8 percent in FY1996 to 27.5 percent in FY2000.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
Copyright to this resource is held by the creating agency and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be downloaded, reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the creating agency. Any attempt to circumvent the access controls placed on this file is a violation of United States and international copyright laws, and is subject to criminal prosecution.