Crime Trends in U.S. Cities: Year-End 2023 Update

Homicide and most other violent crime declined in American cities in 2023, but levels remain above those seen before the onset of the COVID pandemic and the widespread social justice protests of 2020. Most property crimes were down last year, but motor vehicle theft continued to surge.

2023 Annual Report

In 2023, we redoubled our efforts to bridge partisan divides and build common ground for policies rooted in facts, evidence, and fundamental principles of justice. Our Annual Report provides highlights of our work on violence reduction, long prison sentences, racial disparities, veterans in the justice system, and more.

Trends in Homicide: What You Need to Know

Prepared for CCJ’s Crime Trends Working Group, this package of data and analysis looks at changes in homicide over 50 years. It also explores possible explanations for the rise in murder seen during the height of the pandemic and social justice protests of mid-2020, and, in most cities, its subsequent decline.

DOJ Adopts CCJ Violence Reduction Framework

The new U.S. Justice Department Violent Crime Reduction Roadmap urges state and local governments to follow the 10 Essential Actions strategy developed by CCJ’s Violent Crime Working Group.

Shoplifting Trends: What You Need to Know 

An analysis for CCJ’s Crime Trends Working Group examines shoplifting data from 24 major American cities from before the onset of the pandemic through 2023.

How big is the footprint of the criminal justice system, and how has it changed over time?

This new resource is a one-stop shop tracing decades-long changes in crime and victimization, arrests, incarceration, and community supervision.

Alternatives to Prosecution and Incarceration for Justice-Involved Veterans: A Model Policy Framework 

This policy roadmap encourages jurisdictions to expand alternatives to prosecution and incarceration for veterans and allow those whose cases are diverted to pursue record expungement.

First Step Act

This analysis estimates recidivism rates among individuals released from federal prison prior to the FSA who had similar risk profiles and were tracked for similar periods of time as those released under the Act.

How Long is Long Enough?

CCJ Task Force on Long Sentences produces their final report, consisting of 14 recommendations that outline steps to focus resources on violence prevention and victim restoration.

Honoring Service, Advancing Safety: Supporting Veterans From Arrest Through Sentencing

CCJ commission calls for better identification of veterans at the front end of the justice system, increased diversion of veterans away from incarceration, and a national center to advance research and coordinate support

Black-White National Imprisonment Trends,
2000 to 2020

A new report advancing earlier CCJ research examines 2000-2020 trends in racial disparities within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Centering Justice

Centering Justice is a collaborative project engaging a diverse range of the nation’s top thinkers and doers in an ongoing, ideologically vibrant conversation about criminal justice policy.

Grounding Criminal Justice Policy in Facts and Evidence

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"We aim criminal justice at places where we don't want to invest in solving social problems . . . As a general matter, the public understandably has much less faith in the criminal law system, even as it relies on it too much."

Ekow Yankah
Professor, University of Michigan Law School
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"To me, some things that stand out most ... are the success stories — individuals who have been in the system and now are members of our community, living productive lives, living with their families and children."

Beth Skinner
Director, Iowa Department of Corrections
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"I clerked for a judge who was often accused of sentencing too lightly. One time I asked him, 'Do you get tired of being criticized?' He said, 'I do ... But people have forgotten how long two years in prison is.'"

Brett Tolman
Executive Director, Right on Crime

Latest posts

First Step Act Implementation and Beyond – A Conversation with Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters

On January 22, the leaders of the Council on Criminal Justice Centering Justice initiative – Khalil Cumberbatch and Marc Levin – led a conversation with Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters to discuss the First Step Act.

Racial Disparities Among Veterans

What does the data tell us about racial disparities among veterans? This fact sheet provides a snapshot, examining the racial breakdown for arrests, incarceration, homelessness, military justice, and more.

Homicide, Gun Assaults, Most Other Violent Crimes Fall in U.S. Cities but Remain Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

New CCJ Analysis of 2023 Crime Trends Also Documents a Continuing Surge in Motor Vehicle Theft, With Incidents Doubling Since 2019

Trends in Motor Vehicle Theft: What You Need to Know

This fact sheet provides a snapshot of motor vehicle theft in the U.S. It examines changes in theft rates since 1960 and explores other variables, such as arrests, theft location, and clearance rates.

UpClose with Ciera Bates-Chamberlain

This month’s member spotlight features Ciera Bates-Chamberlain. Bates-Chamberlain was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She is committed to furthering the fight for social and economic justice by strengthening communities through radical theology.

Unwavering Intent: Congress’ Enduring Commitment to Veterans Benefits

The VA denies benefits to service members assigned an “other than honorable” discharge. Does that practice align with what Congress intended, and what’s best for veterans and public safety?