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Vanishing Violence: Tracking California's remarkable collapse in youth crime

Vanishing Violence

Originally published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

In a new project by the San Francisco Chronicle, reporters Jill Tucker and Joaquin Palomino investigate youth crime trends, which have fallen off drastically since the 1990s, leaving juvenile halls emptied amid high costs.

They speak with CJCJ Senior Research Fellow about this mystifying trend, and what it means for California's approach to juvenile justice.


In the article:

“The steep decline of juvenile crime is very good news and represents a profound shift for California,” state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said after being told of The Chronicle’s findings. “It also has huge implications both for the state and for counties, raising serious questions about whether we are using public safety funds effectively when juvenile halls around the state are operating at below capacity.”

As with the earlier rise in crime, the reasons for the sharp drop aren’t well understood and research has yet to pinpoint the causes. California is not alone in experiencing the decline in youth crime, as rates have fallen across the country.

“Nobody knows why this occurred,” said Mike Males, a senior research fellow with the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco, which advocates for alternatives to incarceration. It happened “almost regardless of what local, state or national policies were adopted.”

Read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle >>


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Keywords: Mike Males, San Francisco, youth crime

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