California’s murder rates, released this week, are at the lowest level in more than 40 years. It’s not just homicides — nearly all crimes have dramatically declined locally, statewide and nationally. We discuss the reasons for the crime dip, and what it could mean for criminal justice policy.

Barry Krisberg, research and policy director at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law and member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Inmate Population Management
Ronald Davis, chief of police for the City of East Palo Alto
Alfred Blumstein, criminologist at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and co-author of "Crime Drop in America"
Chris Magnus, chief of police of Richmond, California

  • Michael Ballew

    Crime is down because abortion is legal.

    • Gabe Aponte

      Freakonomics got it right!

  • Josh

    The wide availability of marijuana has had a mellowing effect on the entire population.  It may sound unlikely, but I know many more young men, the usual bad actors, are much calmed by the increase in smoking marijuana.  It’s cheaper and it’s everywhere.

  • Sarah Fike

    I’ve heard demographis play a part in crime drop.  the population is aging so therefore there are fewer young people in the age group that commits more crime.  Is this true

  • Amy

    I would like to bring up the fact that there is Private corporate incentive to keep more people in prison for longer:  In 37 States including California, corporations can legally hire prisoners as workers, for minimum wage in State prisons, and in Private prisons, as low as 19 cents per hour. 

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