CTWG Banner (1)

Patterns of crime began changing dramatically in the summer of 2020 as the nation responded to the COVID pandemic and the police killing of George Floyd. The Council on Criminal Justice began tracking the trends, first in support of our National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice and then for our Violent Crime Working Group. By providing snapshots of trends in large cities that make data readily available, the reports have filled a yawning gap in the nation’s knowledge about what was actually happening – and not happening – with crime in real time.

In April 2023, CCJ launched the Crime Trends Working Group to continue the important work of grounding debates about crime and criminal justice reform in facts. Its mission is to explore and explain current crime trends, while building consensus for significant improvements in the nation’s capacity to produce timely, accurate, and complete crime data. With a diverse membership of expert producers and consumers of criminal justice statistics, the Working Group collects real-time crime data, identifies gaps in data collection and availability, and develops strategies to improve crime reporting nationwide as law enforcement agencies transition to a new federal reporting system.

The group is chaired by John Roman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Public Safety and Justice at NORC at the University of Chicago. Members are leaders from academia, advocacy, law enforcement, government, and the public health sector; the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI have designated liaisons to the group. Members meet on a rolling basis, and their discussions and findings are summarized and released in public bulletins and webinars.

The late criminologist Richard Rosenfeld, Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and former president of the American Society of Criminology, was the founding chair of the working group and the co-author of our crime trends reports. Rosenfeld, an eminent scholar who was a trusted resource for policymakers and an exceptional interpreter of crime patterns for the media, passed away on January 8, 2024. CCJ is deeply indebted to him for his contributions to our organization and the field.


Cars standing in a row at night in parking. Urban street.

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.

Homicide Report (1)

This package of data and analysis examines long-term homicide trends in the U.S. It also explores possible explanations for the rise in murder seen in mid-2020 and, in most cities, its subsequent decline.

busy shopping day

Shoplifting Trends:
What You Need to Know

“Smash and grab” episodes and other shoplifting incidents have been widely covered in the news, suggesting a surge in such crimes. But an analysis of shoplifting data from 24 U.S. cities presents a more complicated story.

Yellow law enforcement tape isolating crime scene with blurred view of city street, toned in red and blue police car lights

Did Violent Crime Go Up or Down Last Year? Yes, It Did.

While the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data showed a drop in the nation’s violent crime rate in 2022, data from the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that violent crime victimization increased. What does this discrepancy mean and why might it exist?

Working Group Members

Roman, John
John Roman (Chair)
Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Public Safety and Justice, NORC at the University of Chicago
Rosenfeld, Rick
Richard Rosenfeld (Founding Chair)
Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Abaya, Ruth
Ruth Abaya
Senior Director, Health Systems and CVI Integration; The Health Alliance for Violence Prevention
Abt, Thomas
Thomas Abt
Founding Director, Violence Reduction Center, University of Maryland; Senior Fellow, Council on Criminal Justice
Adams, Delrice
Delrice Adams
Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Asher, Jeff low res
Jeff Asher
Co-Founder, AH Datalytics
Azrael, Deborah
Deborah Azrael
Director of Research, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Cunningham, Jamein
Jamein Cunningham
Assistant Professor, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, Cornell University
​Drew Evans
Drew Evans
Superintendent, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Garcia, Edgardo
Chief Edgardo Garcia
Chief of Police, Dallas Police Department; President, Major City Chiefs Association
Gibson, Brandon
Brandon Gibson
Chief Operating Officer, State of Tennessee
Janet Lauritsen
Curators' Distinguished Professor Emerita, Dept. of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Nutter, Michael
Michael Nutter
Former Mayor, City of Philadelphia
OToole, Kathleen
Kathleen O'Toole
Partner, 21CP Solutions; Former Chief, Seattle Police Department
Rejon, Fernando
Fernando Rejón
Executive Director, Urban Peace Institute
Shoaf, Lisa
Lisa Shoaf
Director, Statistical Analysis Center, Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services
Turner, Keon
Keon Turner
Data Analysis and Reporting Team Manager, Virginia Department of State Policing 

Working Group Liaisons

Griffith, Brian
Brian D. Griffith
Deputy Assistant Director, Law Enforcement and Technology Services Branch, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Shelley Hyland
Senior Statistical Advisor, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Meeting Bulletins

Illustration of a path that ends in a question mark with text, "Convening the Crime Trends Working Group"

Meeting Bulletin #1: Convening the Crime Trends Working Group

In the Crime Trends Working Group’s organizational meeting, expert producers and consumers of crime data introduced themselves and discussed the goals of the group.

CTWG Bulletin #2

Meeting Bulletin #2: Developing the Crime Trends Research Agenda

In the Crime Trends Working Group’s second meeting, members discussed what research is needed to inform discussions on nationwide crime trends and identified initial topics for investigation.

Bulletin 3

Meeting #3: The National Incident-Based Reporting System, An Introduction to Challenges and Solutions

In the Crime Trends Working Group’s first in-person meeting, members discussed challenges with implementation and the usability of the federal government’s current crime data reporting structure and prepared to establish recommendations for improvement.

Bulletin 4 (1)

Meeting #4: Exploring Changes in Homicide and Motor Vehicle Theft Rates

In the Crime Trends Working Group’s fourth meeting, members reviewed CCJ’s latest crime trends report and discussed changes in homicide and motor vehicle theft rates.



Bulletin 5

Meeting #5: Crime Trends Data Tool Usability and Obstacles to NIBRS Adoption

At its fifth meeting, the Crime Trends Working Group heard reports from subgroups on the challenges of transitioning to the National Incident-Based Reporting System and how to improve the usability of the FBI’s crime data tool.

About the Art

The banner design was created by an adult in custody designer in the Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) Graphic Design program. The mission of OCE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Corrections, is to promote public safety by providing adults in custody with work and training opportunities in a self-sustaining organization.