Legal professional Normal Becerra Releases 2019 California Legal Justice Statistics Reviews

Xavier Becerra of California Attorney General

Highlights two new dashboards to improve access to data from the state criminal justice system

July 5, 2020 – SACRAMENTO – Californian Attorney General Xavier Becerra has released five annual reports and two new dates Dashboards – which provide nationwide data on criminal law statistics in California. The reports and the data behind each report can be accessed through OpenJustice, a data-driven initiative that includes transparency to build trust, improve government accountability, and improve public order in the criminal justice system. The information contained in the publications reflects 2019 statistics provided by California law enforcement and other law enforcement agencies. In addition, the new dashboards announced today provide detailed insight into the violence statistics from 2016 to 2019 and the hate crimes in California over the past two decades.

"The need to change our criminal justice system is clearer than ever." Attorney General Becerra said. “And talks about the direction we are going as a state only benefit from the reports and information published today. Politics are always stronger when they are rooted in the facts. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to do our part to promote access to data that supports the critical work of lawmakers, academics, journalists, and other members of the public across California. "

Criminal justice reports and supporting data released by the California Department of Justice and supporting data include key results, data visualizations, and downloadable records. These reports are updated annually on the Attorney General's OpenJustice website. Attorney General Becerra encourages researchers, scientists and other interested parties to analyze the data and use it to inform public discourse about the state criminal justice system. By promoting research, reporting, and conversation, OpenJustice can help Californians better understand how the criminal justice system affects various aspects of their lives, from security, housing, education, health, and family to economic opportunities.

The published reports are:

In addition to the reports, the California Department of Justice is releasing new dashboards on statistics on hate crime and violence. The hate crime dashboard examines state and county statistics by type of bias, type of crime, and location. The Violence Dashboard examines incidents in which a peace official has used violence against a civilian that has resulted in serious physical injury, death or firearm firing, and divides this information by a number of factors, including gender, race, age, and the extent of the injury suffered.

The key findings from each of the five reports on criminal justice statistics published today, as well as a brief, partial description of their content, are as follows:

Crimes in California 2019 presents nationwide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, injunctions, adult parole, criminal justice personnel, civilian complaints against peacekeepers, crimes for domestic violence, crimes against reproductive rights, and law enforcement officers killed or prosecuted. Some of the key results from 2018 to 2019 are:

  • The murder rate fell by 4.5 percent;
  • The rate of robbery decreased by 4.5 percent;
  • The car theft rate fell by 9.6 percent;
  • The total number of arrests of adults and adolescents decreased by 3.5 percent and five percent, respectively. and
  • The total number of adults on active trial was 199,313 – the lowest since 1984.

Hate crimes in California 2019 presents statistics on hate crimes, hate crimes, hate crime victims and hate crime suspects in 2018. The report does not include data on hate incidents. Hate crimes are different from hate incidents, which are acts or behaviors motivated by hate and protected by the right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment. Examples of hate incidents include attribution, insults, and the distribution of hate material in public places. If a hate incident threatens a person or property, it can become a hate crime. This report also includes statistics reported by district and elected city attorneys on the number of cases of hate crime referred to prosecutors, the number of cases brought to court, and the disposition of those cases. Some of the key results from 2018 to 2019 are:

  • Hate crimes fell 4.8 percent from 1,066 to 1,015;
  • The number of suspected hate crimes decreased by 11.5 percent from 1,093 to 967;
  • Hate crime events with a racist tendency decreased overall by 12 percent from 594 to 523;
    • Anti-black or African American bias events decreased from 276 to 243, a decrease of 12 percent.
    • Anti-Hispanic or Latino bias events fell from 149 to 110, a decrease of 26.2 percent;
  • Hate crime events with a religious tendency rose by 3.5 percent from 201 to 208;
    • Anti-Jewish bias events rose from 126 to 141, an increase of 11.9 percent.
    • Anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias events decreased from 28 to 25, a decrease of 10.7 percent. and
  • Hate crimes with sexual orientation decreased by 2.1 percent from 238 to 233.

Murder in California 2019 provides information about the crime of murder, including demographic data on victims, people arrested for murder, people sentenced to death, peacekeepers killed on duty and justified murders. Some of the key results from 2018 to 2019 are:

  • The killings declined from 1,739 to 1,679, a decrease of 3.5 percent.
  • In 2019, 80.2 percent of the murder victims were male and 19.8 percent female;
  • When the victim-perpetrator relationship was identified:
    • 45.1 percent were killed by a friend or acquaintance;
    • 32.9 percent from a stranger;
    • 16.4 percent from their spouse, parent, or child;
  • Of the murders in which the victim's race / ethnicity was identified:
    • 44.2 percent were of Spanish descent;
    • 28.6 percent were black;
    • 19.8 percent were white;
    • 7.5 percent belonged to another race / ethnic group; and
  • Firearms are still the most common weapon in murders. In 2019, 69 percent of the murders in which the weapon was identified involved a firearm.

Juvenile justice in California 2019 provides insight into the juvenile justice process by reporting the number of arrests, transfers to probation departments, petitions filed, and juvenile orders that are being tried in juvenile and adult courts. Some of the key results from 2018 to 2019 are:

  • Over half of the adolescents (52.9 percent) were arrested for a crime, over a third (37.7 percent) for a crime and the rest (9.4 percent) for a status violation.
  • The number of juvenile arrests decreased by seven percent between 2018 and 2019 – and eight out of ten (81.4 percent) of those arrested were transferred to the district's youth probation departments;
  • Nine out of ten teenagers transferred to the county parole department (90.5 percent) were referred by law enforcement officers – and three of ten (31.5 percent) were arrested by the county parole officers;
  • Over a third (35.5 percent) of the juvenile cases referred to the county parole department were closed on admission, indicating that no further action was taken. and
  • Of the juveniles who were officially treated by the juvenile court, six out of ten (60.6 percent) were made judicial districts – and 75.6 percent of the juveniles brought to trial in an adult court.

Use of Force Incident Reporting 2019 provides a summary overview of the use of violence and firearms submission involving a peace official, as defined in section 12525.2 of the government code. Some of the key results are:

  • In 2019 there were 703 incidents of violence that resulted in serious physical injury or death of a civilian or official. or the discharge of a firearm. From these incidents:
    • 48.4 percent occurred during a service call;
    • 18.5 percent occurred while either a crime was underway or while officials were investigating suspects or circumstances;
    • 13.5 percent resulted from a vehicle / bicycle / pedestrian stop;
  • In 2019, 738 civilians were involved in incidents involving the firing of a firearm or the use of violence, resulting in serious bodily harm or death. From these civilians:
    • 44.6 percent were of Spanish descent, 28.5 percent were white and 19.5 percent were black;
    • 66.7 percent were injured, 12.5 percent were not injured and 19.9 percent died; and
  • Of the 1,638 officers who received a firearm or violence that resulted in serious physical injury or death, 15.6 percent were injured, 84.2 percent were not injured, and 0.2 percent died.

Attorney General Becerra is committed to improving public security and criminal law by advocating reform across the state and working with cities to implement new policies. Last month, Attorney General Becerra presented an agenda for extensive police reform and urged law enforcement agencies across the state to immediately develop and implement guidelines for a number of recommendations on the use of violence. He also launched a review of the Vallejo Police Department, which will lead to the development of a comprehensive police plan to modernize and reform police force policies and practices and to increase public confidence. In addition, the Attorney General sent a letter – in support of a broader effort by the Attorney General – calling on Congress to extend the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act to provide federal prosecutors with clear legal powers to investigate and solution to issue patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing. Last year, Attorney General Becerra published a report that gave the Sacramento Police Department recommendations to support reform efforts related to policies, training, and practices related to the use of violence. The Attorney General has also entered into an agreement with the Stockton Unified School District and its police department to address system-wide violations of civil and constitutional rights by African and Latin American students and students with disabilities.

You can find the reports here.
Source: CA. DOJ