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Fact Sheet

Crime Trends in California

By Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin

Violent crime in California has ticked up in recent years, with a pronounced increase in incidents involving guns since 2019. Property crime has also risen steadily statewide, and rates now stand slightly above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

blog post

Video: Are Younger Generations Committing Less Crime?

By Vicki Hsieh

PPIC’s policy director for criminal justice Magnus Lofstrom presents findings from a new report examining whether younger generations of Californians are less criminally active than earlier generations and discusses the broader implications of these trends.

Report

Are Younger Generations Committing Less Crime?

By Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin, Deepak Premkumar

Among Californians born in 1993 and later, criminal offending has fallen 20 to 25 percent compared to previous generations. This shift in longstanding trends is a driving factor behind the overall decline in crime over the last decades and has several broader implications for the criminal justice system.

blog post

Retail Theft and Robbery Rates Have Risen across California

By Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin

California has seen an overall increase in retail theft and robbery rates in recent years. Our analysis finds especially notable increases in the Bay Area and the Central Valley, with certain commercial crimes also increasing substantially in parts of southern California.

blog post

A Large Proportion of Crime Goes Unsolved in California

By Magnus Lofstrom

California’s clearance rates—the shares of reported crimes for which police make an arrest and refer the arrestee to prosecution—are better than those nationwide. Still, statewide less than half of violent crimes and only one in ten property crimes are cleared.

Report

Pandemic Policymaking and Changed Outcomes in Criminal Courts

By Heather Harris

California’s criminal courts quickly adopted policies to address COVID-19. But uneven adoption around the state affected who might face those policies—as well as whether people were convicted and the sentences handed out. In particular, remote hearings contributed to racial differences in outcomes, which may influence whether such hearings continue.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Pandemic Policymaking and Changed Outcomes in Criminal Courts

By Heather Harris, Stephanie Barton

Remote hearings are the major policy to endure from pandemic interventions introduced by California criminal courts. When remote hearings were in place, misdemeanor convictions fell—and courts tended to hand out probation or fines for these crimes, especially among white, Latino, and Black defendants.

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