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State of Ohio's Urban Regions

Criminal Justice

AUTHORS Jim Shanahan, Youngstown State University Gil Peterson, Youngstown State University Special Contributions by: Tracey Steele, Wright State University Teresa Hottle, Wright State University

The Ohio Urban University Program January 2001


MISSION STATEMENT The Mission of the Ohio Urban University Program (UUP) is to apply the resources of urban universities to help identify urban problems and propose solutions designed to enhance the vitality of Ohio's urban regions and distressed central cities. GOALS · Address Ohio's urban problems and opportunities by supporting collaborative interinstitutional research and service networks. Meet the distinctive needs of each metropolitan region by cultivating and supporting linked Centers of Excellence on all eight urban university campuses. · Propose solutions by undertaking research, education and training, technical assistance, data base development and design services. · Communicate findings of UUP-related activities to state and local policy makers and citizens. · Develop and encourage a synergistic process of combining the strengths of traditional university research and teaching with the public service role of the urban university. The Ohio Urban University Program (UUP) is a unique network linking the resources of Ohio's eight urban universities with the communities and students they serve in cooperative efforts to improve the state's urban regions. Since its founding in 1979, the state funded UUP has provided a strong resource base to support university research, education and training, technical assistance, data base development and urban design services at each of the participating universities. The mission of the UUP is implemented through collaborative university networks and individual centers of excellence. The UUP is linked through the Ohio Board of Regents' Advisory Committee on the Urban University Program, a statewide consortium of representatives from each of the participating universities. The nine committee representatives are: Mark Rosentraub, Ph.D., Cleveland State University, Chair Larry Johnson, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati Larry C. Ledebur, Ph.D., Cleveland State University Jack Dustin, Ph.D., Wright State University Patrick McGuire, Ph.D., The University of Toledo Jesse Marquette, Ph.D., The University of Akron W. Randy Smith, Ph.D., The Ohio State University James B. Tinnin, Ph.D., Kent State University Ronald Chordas, Ph.D., Youngstown State University Kathryn Hexter, UUP Director 216-687-6941


PREFACE Learn From the Past, Assess the Present, Plan for the Future The State of Ohio's Urban Regions project is a unique effort to learn from the past, assess the present, and plan for the future. The Ohio Board of Regent's Urban University Program (UUP) in 1998 invited member universities to participate in this project with four general goals in mind. One, we wanted to study how urban regions changed over the twentieth century using important indicators. Data would provide us with historical trends, an understanding of current conditions and insight into the future. Two, we would analyze the data to identify fundamental issues requiring the attention of policy-makers. Three, we would propose pragmatic ideas for addressing the fundamental issues. And four, our report on the "State of Ohio's Urban Regions" would be engaging and clearly written for policy-makers and citizens. Researchers from UUP member institutions identified themes that broadly describe the state of Ohio's urban regions. The Criminal Justice Report that follows is one in a series of nine themes. The reports covering the eight remaining topics will be released throughout 2000-2001. The following report identifies crime trends. Similar to other reports in the project, the authors provide a summary of historical data and it offers comparisons by urban region, neighboring states and the nation. Unlike other reports, the Criminal Justice Report includes a second tier of urban areas. The report concludes with five general conditions that help explain differences in the level of crime experienced by the Ohio's urban areas. The authors wish to recognize those who contributed to the Criminal Justice Report. Suzanne Armbruster, Administrative Coordinator at the Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, placed the report on the UUP website ( and produced the final report in paper form. Several staff and students working for the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at Wright State University also contributed in organizing, producing and editing the report. They include Jane Dockery, Associate Director, Teresa Hottle, Research Associate, Karil This, Production Coordinator and Editor; and Mark "Alec" Ross, student research assistant for graphic design and layout.

Jack Dustin Project Director Wright State University



Preface ................................................................................................................................................iii List of Figures .................................................................................................................................... v Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 1 Design of this Report ........................................................................................................................ 2 Comparing Crime Data from UCR & NCVS.................................................................................. 3 Unreported Crimes Equal Reported Crime Totals ...................................................................... 3 Reasons Differ Between Reporting Crimes and Not Reporting ................................................. 5 Making Comparisons in Levels of Criminal Activity From Place to Place .............................. 5 Crime in the U.S. ............................................................................................................................... 7 Crime in Ohio and its Cities ............................................................................................................ 7 Violent and Property Crimes ......................................................................................................... 11 Crime Trends and Differences Among States and Cities .......................................................... 20 Declining Crime of the 1990s ......................................................................................................... 22 Crime Prevention............................................................................................................................. 24 Recommendations ........................................................................................................................... 28


List of Figures

Figure 1: Estimated Percentage of U.S. Crimes Not Reported, 1997 ......................................... 4 Figure 2: U.S. Index Crime, 1960-1998 ............................................................................................ 6 Figure 3: U.S. and Ohio Index Crime, 1960-1998 .......................................................................... 8 Figure 4: State Crime Rates, 1960-1998 ........................................................................................... 9 Figure 5: Total Crime Rate for Ohio and Neighboring States .................................................... 9 Figure 6: Total Crime Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities ............................................................... 10 Figure 7: U.S. and Ohio Violent Crimes, 1960-1998 ........................................................................... 11 Figure 8: U.S. and Ohio Property Crime, 1960-1998 ........................................................................... 12 Figure 9: Property Crime Rates for Ohio and Selected States .................................................. 13 Figure 10: Violent Crime Rates in Ohio and Selected Other States ......................................... 13 Figure 11: State Ranking of Crime Rates ...................................................................................... 14 Figure 12: Burglary (Ohio Annnual Average)............................................................................. 15 Figure 13: Murder (Ohio Annnual Average)............................................................................... 15 Figure 14: Aggravated Assault (Ohio Annnual Average) ......................................................... 16 Figure 15: Violent Crimes in Ohio's Largest Cities .................................................................... 17 Figure 16: Burglaries in Ohio's Largest Cities ............................................................................ 18 Figure 17: Burglary Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities ................................................................... 18 Figure 18: Aggravated Assault Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities ............................................... 19



The responsibility and authority for creating and enforcing Ohio law is grounded in the Ohio State Constitution. Passed in 1802, one year prior to statehood, this constitution creates a three-branched system of government similar to the U.S. government's and extends an even more comprehensive bill of rights to its citizenry. Though replaced in 1851, and notwithstanding the additions of many new agencies under its charge, the three-branched structure of Ohio governmental organization and the rights enjoyed by its citizens today remains relatively unchanged. Each branch of Ohio government has significant impact on crime and the practice of criminal justice in Ohio. The executive branch is comprised of the governor and a wide array of other agencies and officials responsible for state policy administration. These include the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which is responsible for the oversight of the majority of felony offenders in the state; the Department of Youth Services, which serves similar functions for Ohio's 12 to 18 year-old juvenile felony offenders; and the State Attorney General. Be it gubernatorial commission appointments, gubernatorial policy agendas and legislation proposals, a department's establishment of new policy standards, agency implementation of treatment programs to reduce criminal recidivism, or the governor's pardoning of a death row inmate, the executive branch of government is a critical component of Ohio criminal justice. The state judiciary branch manages Ohio's vast court system that is charged with determining criminal culpability and assessment of appropriate sanctions and remedies. This system includes a seven-member state Supreme Court, one Court of Claims, 12 District Courts of Appeals, and 88 county courts known as courts of common pleas. Some of the common pleas jurisdictions include courts with specialized functions such as juvenile, probate, and domestic relations. In addition to these, there are nearly 600 local courts that include all of Ohio's municipal, county, and mayor's courts. Ohio's legislative branch is known as the General Assembly. In addition to determining annual monetary allocations for criminal justice expenditures, the Assembly is directly responsible for the creation of the statutes that specify what acts are considered unlawful in the State of Ohio and details the available sanctions that can be imposed upon those committing these acts. These crimes are outlined in Title 29 of the Ohio Revised Code, and it is this code that is the true foundation of the state's criminal justice system. Ohio employs well over 62,000 employees within this system in a myriad of agencies statewide. Police forces make up the largest component--over 40%. The remainder of the work force is in corrections facilities, and various judicial and legal systems.

Ohio employs well over 62,000 employees within this system in a myriad of agencies statewide. Police forces make up the largest component-- over 40%.



The purpose of this report is to: 1. Review trends in crime in the United States. 2. Examine crime trends in Ohio and its cities. 3. Review explanations for why crime and victimization varies with time and place. 4. Share results of what works and does not work in preventing crime. 5. Recommend actions to Ohio lawmakers. Several research questions are addressed about crime in Ohio: · · · · Why do crime rates vary from one state to another? And, why does crime vary among Ohio's urban communities? Do violent and property crimes have similar long-run trends? What do experts expect crime rates to be in the future? Will the decline in criminal activity continue? What explains the trends in crime statistics?

Data are based on two separate national data collection programs: the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

Media news reports often present the latest findings on crime in our nation and its communities. These figures are released nationally by the Department of Justice that provides measures of the magnitude, nature, and impact of crime. Data are based on two separate national data collection programs: the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Data used in this analysis are from these two programs. UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM (UCR) The UCR is conducted by the FBI and is based on crimes reported to law enforcement agencies across the country. Participating law-enforcement agencies at every level of government provide the data on crimes against person or property. The eight index crimes are: VIOLENT CRIME · Aggravated Assault · Criminal Homicide · Forcible Rape and Other Sex Crimes · Robbery · · · · PROPERTY CRIME Arson Burglary--breaking and entering Larceny--theft (except vehicles) Motor Vehicle Theft

Data on other crimes--from simple assault to prostitution and drug use-- are recorded, but only if they lead to an arrest. (Arrests account for only some fraction of all occurrences of these forms of crimes, depending on state and local laws and aggressiveness of law enforcement agencies in detecting and arresting offenders.)


Overall, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program provides data on: · Crime levels and trends annually for the eight index crimes · Law enforcement personnel, expenditures, etc · Crimes cleared, when a reported crime leads to at least one person being charged and turned over to the courts · Characteristics of homicides · Characteristics of persons arrested These data are published for the nation, regions of the nation, states, counties, cities, and towns by the U.S. Department of Justice. Again, data from the UCR are only for crimes knownto law enforcement agencies. Trends in these crime statistics are defined as the number of crimes that are reported. THE N ATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY (NCVS) NCVS is based on a national survey of persons and households about crime incidents where they are the victims. The survey asks about the following crimes: · Aggravated and Simple Assault · Rape and Sexual Assault · Household Burglary · Personal Robbery · Motor Vehicle Theft · Theft Homicide and commercial burglary--included in the UCR--are not included in the NCVS program. Measures produced from the NCVS provide information about victims of crime and the nature of their victimization.


These two sources of data on crime are complementary but differences need to be kept in mind when using them. For the following reasons, interpreting data from both sources must be done with care: · A major purpose of the NCVS is to provide data on unreported crimes and why they go unreported, and on the victims of these crimes and their offenders. · The two sets of measures are of an overlapping but not identical set of crimes: each excludes some crimes that are included in the other. · Crime rates are based on different measures for the two approaches-- UCR uses population and NCVS uses households in adjusting for size of the area. UNREPORTED CRIMES EQUAL REPORTED CRIME TOTALS Obviously, law enforcement agencies know of a crime when one or two things happen: 1. It is reported to them, either by the person or persons directly affected by the crime--against them or their property--or by someone else (a witness, employee, or other third party to the crime); or

These two sources of data on crime are complementary but differences need to be kept in mind when using them.


2. It is detected by law enforcement officers.

Actual numbers of crimes could be as much as twice the number reported to police and reflected in the UCR data.

Actual crime rates are higher than indicated by UCR crime index data. Across the nation, persons who are crime victims report only about 40% of crime incidences to police. Actual numbers of crimes, then, could be as much as twice the number reported to police and reflected in the UCR data. The tendency for victims to report crimes to police varies with the type of crime and whether the crime was only attempted or successfully completed by the offender. Crimes of violence (45%) are reported more often than property crimes (35%). (See Figure 1. below)


Estimated Percentage of U.S. Crimes of Victims That Were NOT Reported, 1997

All Crimes 70% 55% 56% 60% 50% Percent Reported 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Crimes of Violence Rape Robbery Property Crimes Household Burglary Theft 45% 40% 63% Attempted Completed 52% 43% 35% 36% 55%

43% 39% 46%

Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1985 - 1997


28% 30% 28%

Crimes successfully completed by offenders are reported by their victims about 54% of the time. In comparison, crimes, which have been attempted, but have failed, or threats of violence, are reported far less frequently. Of all violent crimes, robbery is the one most often reported to police--63% for completed robberies. Theft of property is the least reported crime-- with thefts of less than $25 being reported only 12% of the time. REASONS D IFFER BETWEEN REPORTING AND N OT REPORTING CRIME The most frequent reasons that victims give for reporting crimes are: VIOLENT CRIME · Because it was a crime--20% · To stop or prevent the incident--19% · To prevent further crimes by the offender(s)--16% PROPERTY CRIME · To recover the property--25% · Because it was a crime--25%

Reasons given for NOT reporting crimes: VIOLENT CRIME · Private or personal matter--20% · Offender was unsuccessful--16% · Reported to another official--16% PROPERTY CRIME · Object recovered or offender was unsuccessful--27% · Lack of proof--11% · Reported to another official--10%

For property crimes, the leading reason for reporting the crime is to recover stolen property while having recovered the stolen property or the criminal being unsuccessful in taking the property is the primary reason for not reporting the attempt. MAKING COMPARISONS IN LEVELS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY FROM PLACE TO PLACE It is hard to compare crime levels between nation and state, one state with another, and so on. It is important to realize that different places may have different numbers of crimes reported to police, or greater numbers of victimizations, simply because they have a larger number of people living there. As a result, they will have a greater number of crimes. A widely accepted practice is to adjust for size by computing the rate of crime, that is, the number of crimes reported per 100,000 residents, or 10,000 households. Crime rates for UCR data are for every 100,000 residentswhileNCVSmeasurescriminalvictimizationsper10,000residentialhouseholds. Figure 2 presents UCR data for the period 1960 through 1998. Using crime or victimization rates it is possible to compare places of immensely different sizes. Any variations in the rates of crime or victimization are due to reasons other than population size. It also makes it possible to see the affect on crime of population change over time for a nation, state or community.

Different places may have different numbers of crimes reported to police simply because they have a larger number of people living there.



U.S. Index Crime 1960-1998

Total Crimes Per 100,000 Persons

7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996

Year Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998. Prepared by Ohio Urban University Program. US

Using crime or victimization rates it is possible to compare places of immensely different sizes.

Throughout this report, most often the measure of criminal activity used is crime rate, not the absolute number of crimes occurring.


The Bureau of Justice Statistics report crime rates for the nation increased fourfold between 1960 and 1980; fluctuated in the 1980s; and declined dramatically throughout the 1990s. RECENT CRIME TRENDS The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, identifies violent and property crime trends (see website Violent crime-- specifically homicide, robbery, and assaults--have been on the decline since 1994. However, rape rates stabilized from 1996 to 1999. Property crime--including burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft--has been declining as well. In 1999, motor vehicle theft rates reached the lowest ever recorded.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE INDICATORS The results of the "get tough on crime" initiative can be seen through increased incarceration rates along with an increase in direct expenditures by the federal and state government. For instance, the number of adults convicted of a felony in state courts continues to rise with two-thirds of those convicted sentenced to jail or prison. Moreover, most people in the correctional system are on probation or some form of community service. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, all spending on police, corrections, and judicial functions continues to increase with states spending more on criminal justice than municipalities, counties, or the federal government. In fiscal 1996, federal, state, and local governments spent more than $120 billion for civil and criminal justice--a 73% increase over 1995.

Crime rates for the nation increased fourfold between 1960 and 1980.


Ohio's reported crime rates, historically, have followed the trend of the nation overall. See Figure 3 for the following: · Total reported crime rates in Ohio are always less than that of the nation (the average of all states). · Crime rates increased about four times during the 1960s and 1970s, in Ohio, like the nation. · Crime rates, nationally and in Ohio, fluctuated during the 1980s--first declining, then rising again. · After 1990, the UCR crime rate index decreased significantly. That trend continued into 1999--the last year data was available. · Crime patterns are cyclical, moving with the economic cycle. From 1960 to 1990, crime rates decreased only during economic recessions. The longest, most severe recession was from about 1980 to 1983-84. Drops in the total crime rate were most pronounced in these years. Only after economic recovery began did crime rates resume a long-term upward trend. TOTAL REPORTED CRIME RATES OF O HIO AND N EIGHBORING STATES Ohio's overall crime rates, historically, are higher than some states and lower than others. See Figures 4 and 5 for the following: · Of the five states bordering Ohio, Michigan has the highest rate of total crime from 1960 to present. However, crime has been on the decline in Michigan since about 1982 and now is only modestly above the rest. · Ohio and Indiana crime closely mirror each other over the years. · Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia all have lower crime rates than Ohio. · In 1998, total crimes for every 100,000 residents ranged from a low of 2,547 in West Virginia to 4,683 in Michigan--Ohio's was 4,328. · In this 38 year time span, Ohio's total crime rate ranged from a low of 924 per 100,000 persons in 1960 to 5,447 in 1981.

All spending on police, corrections, and judicial functions continues to increase.

Only after economic recovery began did crime rates resume a longterm upward trend.



U.S. and Ohio Index Crime 1960-1998

7000 6000 Per 100,000 pop. 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998

Year Ohio Source: Uniform Crime Reports US

CRIME RATES ARE HIGHEST IN URBAN AREAS · In 1997, total crime rates in Ohio's central cities varied somewhat, from a low of 7,216 per 100,000 persons for Akron to a high of 9,857 in Columbus, followed by Dayton with 9,715 crimes for every 100,000 residents of the city (See Figure 6). · In most of the cities, crime rates actually increased from 1977 to 1997--contrary to the decline just documented for Ohio overall and for the nation. Part of the explanation for rising crime rates is that the number of crimes increased in these cities despite the dramatic loss of population to the suburban and exurban areas-- Columbus was the only exception. Population loss for these cities, however, included a disproportionate share of their more educated and economically well-off households. · Despite the loss of population, these older central cities probably had the same population of potential or past offenders. Most major Ohio cities experienced a crime rate which fluctuated between 1977 and 1997. The exception being Cleveland and Dayton, which experienced an overall decline. In 1977 these two cities had the highest crime rates of all Ohio cities.



State Crime Rates 1960-1998

8000 7000 6000 Per 100,000 pop. 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998

Source: Uniform Crime Reports Indiana Kentucky Michigan

Year Ohio Pennsylvania West Virginia


Total Crime Rate for Ohio and Neighboring States

1960 1970 8000 6676 5995 7000 Crimes per 100K Persons 6000 5000 3736 3476 3390 3273 4000 3000 1049 2000 1000 0 Pennsylvania Ohio Michigan Indiana Kentucky West Virginia Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 -1998 5416 4843 4512 4328 1980 1990 1997 4930 4683 4466 4169 4917 4683 1998



2825 2484 3434 3289 3127 2889








2552 2503 2469 2547



In most cities, crime rates increased from 1977 to 1997-- partly because the number of crimes increased despite the dramatic loss of population.

VIOLENT CRIME G REW MORE RAPIDLY Since the mid-1970s, violent crime rates have increased relative to property crimes. · The growth in crimes per 100,000 persons for violent and property crimes were similar until about 1974, each increasing nearly fourfold. · After the recession of the early 1980s, national violent crime rates grew rapidly, greatly exceeding the previous high reached in 1980-- increasing by 41% between 1984 and 1991 (see Figure 7). Property crimes resumed only modest growth for the remainder of the 1980s-- growing only 14% nationally in the same time period (see Figure 8). · The gap between Ohio's violent crime rate and the nation's increased after 1980. But, the gap between Ohio's property crime rate and the nation's disappeared over this same time period. In 1998, they were nearly the same (see Figure 8).


Total Crime Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities

12000 9148 9736 11,784 10,833 8959 8609 9598 8469 8510 8527 Dayton 1977 1987 Toledo 1997 Youngstown 6941 6544 7402 8290 8284 7456 7977 6887 7168 Akron Canton 5624 6533 Cincinnati 7084 7319 Cleveland Columbus Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960-1998 7600

10000 Total Crimes Per 100K persons










· Michigan, historically, had the highest rates of both types of crime; since 1980, though, it has enjoyed the greatest decline in property crime rates and by 1998 had no more incidence of property crime than Ohio or Indiana (see Figure 9). Violent crime rates, however, are still highest in Michigan. · Ohio and Indiana experienced the next highest crime rates for both violent and property crimes. · Ohio's violent crime rate has dropped significantly since 1990, more rapidly than its neighboring states. · West Virginia and Kentucky enjoy lower rates of both types of crime although violent crimes are on the rise in West Virginia while they have been declining in Kentucky since 1990 (see Figure 10). In 1997, Ohio's violent crime, for every 100,000 persons, was lower than 31 other states. · Among neighboring states, only Kentucky and West Virginia had a better ranking.

After the recession of the early 1980s, violent crime rates nationally grew rapidly, increasing by 41% between 1984 and 1991.


US and Ohio Violent Crimes 1960-1998

800 700 Per 100,000 pop. 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1996 1998 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 US

Year Source: Uniform Crime Reports Ohio



US and Ohio Property Crime 1960-1998

6000 5000 Per 100,000 pop. 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

Year Source: Uniform Crime Reports Ohio US

Ohio's violent crime rate has dropped significantly since 1990, more rapidly than its neighboring states.

· However, for robbery and forcible rape, Ohio ranked more poorly. Only 18 states had higher rates of robbery and 20 states had higher rates of forcible rape. · Ohio's best ranking was aggravated assaults, with 34 states having higher rates. (See Figure 11.) · Burglaries per 100,000 persons rose rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s, peaking at an annual average of 1,154 during the 1980s (see Figure 12). · From 1990 to 1997, the burglary rate in Ohio was down to an annual average of 909. · Murder rates were highest during the 1970s, then declined from an annual average of 7.6 murders for every 100,000 persons to 6.0 during the 1980s, then declined only slightly in the 1990s. (See Figure 13.) · Aggravated assaults rose sharply from the 1960s to the 1980s, averaging 222 felony assaults per 100,000 persons each year (See Figure 14).























Property Crime Rates for Ohio and Selected States

1960 1970 1980 1990 1997 1998 4327 4062 4553 3250

7000 Property Crime Rates per 100K Persons 6000 4933 6036


4097 3965


5000 4000 3000 1966 2000 950 1000 0 Pennsylvania 3372





3952 3738

2989 2852




2810 2605


2368 656 1255









West Virginia

Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998


Violent Crime Rates in Ohio and Selected Other States

1960 900 790 800 Violent Crimes per 100K Persons 700 498 506 600 500 364 400 220 300 200 99 84 100 0 Pennsylvania Ohio Michigan Indiana Kentucky West Virginia 85 97 431 442 421 576 640 1970 1980 1990 1997 590 621 1998 474 515 431





222 267

317 284


Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998.

124 184 169 219 249



2250 2299




In 1997, Ohio's violent crime, for every 100,000 persons, was lower than 31 other states.

Ohio's urban regions do not simply mirror statewide crime patterns. Violent crimes reported are increasing in the larger cities--Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo are the exceptions. · Adjusting for population size, it is clear that violent crime rates are stable or up in all cities but Dayton. Toledo has the lowest violent crime rate and it has remained stable for 30 years.


State Ranking of Crime Rates Higher the Rank, Lower the Crime Rate


45 43 40 43



State Rank 1 - 51





28 24




26 27


38 20 Forcible Rape 6 27

25 23 20


30 20 10 0


19 16

Violent Crime

Murder & Manslaughter Indiana Michigan



Aggravated Assault




Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998

· In 1997, Youngstown, Canton, and Cleveland had the highest rates of violent crime. · Youngstown and Canton have had the most dramatic growth in violent crime rates, with Canton's nearly doubling since 1987. (See Figure 15.) BURGLARIES IN OHIO--1977-1997 · Burglaries per 100,000 persons have decreased steadily in all cities except Columbus, which experienced an increase in 1987 followed by a slight decrease by 1997.



West Virginia



Burglary Ohio Annual Average Crime Rate

1,400 1,200 Crime Rate per 100,000 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's

Source: US Census Bureau and Crime in Ohio 1997, 1987, 1997






Murder Ohio Annual Average Crime Rate

8 7 Crime Rate per 100,000 6 6.0 5 4 3 2 1 0 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's

Source: US Census Bureau and Crime in Ohio 1997, 1987, 1997






Aggravated Assault Ohio Annual Average Crime Rate


222.4 200 Crime Rate per 100,000







0 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's

Source: US Census Bureau and Crime in Ohio 1997, 1987, 1997

Violent crimes reported are increasing in the larger cities-- Youngstown and Canton had the most dramatic growth, with Canton's nearly doubling since 1987.

· In 1997, the rate of burglaries in Columbus is much higher than in any other city. (See Figure 16.) · In Dayton, the burglary rate dropped from 3,690 in 1977 to 1,805 in 1997. · Excluding Columbus, burglary rates vary across cities only slightly--from a low of 1,116 in Akron to a high of 1,542 in Youngstown. (See Figure 17.) The number of aggravated assaults is up in all cities except Dayton. · The rate of aggravated assaults is considerably higher in Canton and Youngstown-- cities which also had the greatest increases in crime rates from 1987 to 1997. · Elsewhere, the rate of aggravated assaults in 1997 varies from a low of 341 in Dayton to a high of 516 in Akron. (See Figure 18.)


As just described, crime levels and rates rose sharply during the 1960s and 1970s, declined, then rose again during the 1980s, before steadily declining over the last ten years. These trends characterized Ohio and the nation as a whole. Crime in Ohio cities varies much from place to place: some cities experienced growing crime rates in the 1990s while others reflected the pattern of decline, same as for Ohio and the nation.



Violent Crime Rates in Ohio's Largest Cities



1531 1529


Violent Crimes per 100K Persons

1600 1400 1200





948 934

798 802 823

1000 800

812 852

943 1050





600 400 200 0 Cleveland










Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998

What explains these patterns: changes over time and differences across states and cities? 1. Population Demographics and Urbanization trends can impact crime statistics--crime rates are greater in urban areas where people live close together and where repeat offenders are most likely to commit their crimes. Ohio's population living in urban areas increased substantially from 1960 to 2000, and Ohio's neighboring states vary in their degree of urbanization--West Virginia and Kentucky are the least urbanized. Young people are more likely to commit crimes than older adults--especially young males. From 1960 to now young people are a declining percent of all persons as the baby boom generation has aged, and likely is a partial explanation for the recent downward trend in crime experienced during the 1990s.

Burglaries per 100,000 persons have decreased steadily in all cities except Columbus.







Burglaries in Ohio's Largest Cities

18,000 16,000 14,000 12,000

15,734 13,163

12,681 14,218 13,453 8,146 8,386


7,752 6,964 5,817

10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0

5,733 5,687

7,600 4,633 4,073 2,866 5,329 3,719

2,710 2,356 2,036











Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998


Burglary Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities 3690

4000 3500

Burglaries per 100K Persons

2464 2061

2229 2500 2365

3000 2500 2000

2120 1905 1591


2053 1785 1542


1804 1586


1500 1000 500 0












Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998.


1426 1305 1226



1353 1342

1,582 1,448 1,360


2. Stable or Transient Populations can impact crime statistics--states or communities with significant tourism trade or significant numbers of persons commuting into or out of the community for work or school, may experience higher crime rates than their population size (which counts only permanent residents) would indicate. 3. Economic Conditions, such as labor market trends (employment and unemployment patterns, occupational and industry mix), family income levels and poverty rates, and so on, can impact crime statistics. Economic conditions are argued to affect crime levels in direct and indirect ways. First, it is thought that persons with less economic opportunity will be more likely to resort to illegal activities to satisfy their wants and needs. For a community, the crime levels and rates may increase during times of economic decline as some residents increasingly turn to illegal activity for economic gain or even to vent their frustration. Also, communities with greater concentrations of persons living in poverty, likely will have higher levels of crime that is traceable to impoverished offenders.


Aggravated Assault Rates for Ohio's Largest Cities


Aggravated Assaults per 100K Persons


503 516

600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Cleveland Columbus Cincinnati Toledo




334 370

342 371 425

344 396 421

294 361

421 440












Source: Uniform Crime Reports, 1960 - 1998

169 191




Second, cities which are experiencing economic downturn, or are economically depressed long term, law enforcement resources are limited and crime levels may be higher because offenders know there is less chance of being caught. While this explanation might apply at the neighborhood or city level, it appears not to be evident at the state or national level. The crime trends reported here for Ohio and the nation show that crime rates fall during economic downturns and rise during economic recovery--just the reverse of what would be expected from this theory. However, further data analysis would be appropriate to distinguish between the types of crimes being committed during different economic conditions. For instance, we would expect to see higher levels of property crimes and drug offenses during poor economic conditions as opposed to violent crimes such as homicide, robbery, and rape. This may help to explain the difference between the data and the theory. 4. Culture and Social Conditions certainly have a bearing on the likelihood that criminal behavior will occur, or that it will be tolerated by prevailing community values. These conditions are based in space and time. Populations with greater relative numbers of adults with post-secondary education, stronger religious values, and that lead active lives are thought to be less prone to commit crimes. On the other hand, the rapid growth of the use of drugs and alcohol in the 1960s and 1970s was linked to increasing index crime rates. Local norms influence the tendency of citizens to report crimes, too. So, a community may appear to have lower levels of crime than others simply because residents are less likely to report crimes to police. The 1960s and 1970s were years of greater social change and cultural shifts and no doubt played an important role in the explosive growth of crime rates evident in the data. Different regions of the country have different cultural and social norms: these norms also vary from city to city, sometimes dramatically. The southern states, for example, have always led the nation in crime rates that are well above Ohio and its neighboring states, which may be attributed more to social norms rather than a crime rate that is actually higher. 5. Law Enforcement Characteristics influence reported crime rates and vary over time and from place to place. The strength of law enforcement at every level of government and the aggressiveness of how they enforce laws and how they deal with offenders is a factor. Over time, deploying more law enforcement resources actually can reduce the level of crime as the chance of being caught increases for potential offenders. Conversely, more aggressive programs can lead to higher crime rates for some types of crime targeted by the police, especially "victimless" crimes such as prostitution, drug abuse or public intoxication. While these crimes are not included in the index crimes analyzed in this report, lower theft, burglary, and assault rates can be traced to effective crackdowns on drug use since drugs are often linked to property and violent crimes. In summary, qualitative differences of law enforcement can vary greatly from city to city and over time, but are difficult to document except on a case by case basis. Some of these factors influenced the increased crime rate during the 1960s and 1970s in Ohio's urbanized areas. Possible explanations include:

Crime rates are greater in urban areas where people live close together and where repeat offenders are most likely to commit their crimes.

In cities experiencing economic downturn, law enforcement resources are limited and crime levels may be higher because offenders know there is less chance of being caught.


· Decline of heavy industry and loss of related jobs leaving some people without a viable means of earning a living, long-term · Subsequent loss of tax base to support education and services to youth · Loss of the middle class to the suburbs, creating an environment in cities more conducive to crime · Family instability · Rapid increase in the use of illegal drugs, which has been linked to criminal behavior either to support the perpetrator's habit or while they are under the influence Additionally, crime reporting has changed since 1960 and citizens might be more likely to report incidents of crime. For example, the rise in the crime rate for forcible rape has been attributed to women being more likely now to report these crimes. Furthermore, as general economic conditions improved during the 1990s, an accompanying drop in the crime rate followed. As evidenced, the crime rate has continued to drop in Ohio, as overall crime decreased 7% from 1990 to 1997. D ECLINING CRIME OF THE 1990S The decline in Ohio crime during the 1990s could be linked, in part, to increased prison capacity, numbers incarcerated and to putting more police officers to work. Both of these factors preempt crimes these offenders would commit if they were not incarcerated. Removing repeat offenders from the general population has reduced the number of crimes committed in recent years but may only be a band-aid to longer term problems, such as a higher number of nonrehabilitated offenders released from prison back in to society and the ever-increasing cost of the correctional system to the taxpayer. A recent study by the FBI comparing crime data from January though June 1999 to the same time period in 1998 shows that the crime rate is still falling. While the nationwide crime rate decreased 10% from 1998 to 1999, the Midwest demonstrated an 11% decline in its crime rate. Therefore, it appears that the crime rate is continuing to fall from its peak around 1980. A 1998 report, "The Falling Crime Rate," from the Koch Crime Institute started with the statement: "this reported decline is good news, but the reason for it is not understood" (p. 1) The report is a review of what experts say about recent declines in crime rates, and what they expect to happen in the next few years. It reveals general agreement on some of the explanations--although their conclusions are supported with limited evidence, and there is some disagreement about future trends in crime rates. The Koch Institute report asserts several explanations they say need further investigation: · Reduced numbers of persons living in communities who commit most of the crimes: youth and repeat offenders--Population in Ohio is comprised of relatively fewer young people than in recent past decades; and more aggressive law enforcement and criminal justice policies and practices have removed serious crime offenders from the communities where they would commit new crimes. · Improved economic conditions are thought to lead to less crime. Potential offenders are less likely to commit more serious crimes when employed with less time and opportunity to engage in criminal actions--from domestic violence and illegal markets, to robbery or burglary.


A 1998 report, "The Falling Crime Rate," from the Koch Crime Institute started with the statement: "this reported decline is good news, but the reason for it is not understood (p. 1)"

· Community policing may lead to reduced crime because it aims to have agencies and "officers become reintegrated into the fabric of their communities" so that the people come to the police for counsel and help before a serious problem engenders a crime. · Community involvement and personal responsibility where everyone from community-based agencies, civic action groups, and individuals take more responsibility for crime in their communities and neighborhoods and realize the need to remove themselves and family members from home or work conditions that might trigger problems. Another national study took a more focused view of why crime was on the decline in the 1990s. An annual report from the National Center for Policy Analysis, Crime and Punishment in America (1999), argues that crime is down because "the likelihood that a criminal will be punished for a serious crime and the amount of time a criminal is likely to spend in prison are higher today than...since the 1970s." (p. 2). The NCPA believes there is a direct relationship between the decreased crime rate and the increased probability of going to prison. They would advocate for tougher crime laws and lengthier prison terms for all serious crime to further reduce the crime rate. Conversely, other experts look to different explanations for the reduction in crime and offer other policy recommendations. For instance, David Hunter inCorrections Today (2000) says, "another factor has contributed significantly to the reduction in crime - comprehensive treatment programs." Studies and independent research groups indicate that we will achieve a significant reduction in recidivism, and ultimately less crime if we do the following: 1. Hold offenders accountable for their actions; 2. Treat them for their dependencies; 3. Rehabilitate, educate and train them; and 4. Respond immediately to their pro-social and anti-social behaviors. Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction discusses how Ohio has been responding to violent crime rates with prevention and intervention programs that target people ages 13-25. Some examples of these programs are: 1. Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP)--18 prisons offer violence prevention programs for inmates although AVP is one of the most successful, which is offered at the Dayton Correctional Institution; 2. Keeping Yourself Alive Program--concentrates on reducing gun violence among minority youth; 3. Dealing with Anger Program--helps prevent violence among youth in conjunction with a foster care system; and the 4. Reach Back Program--emphasizes education, career planning, and mentoring. AnotherinitiativemakingitswayintoOhioisRestorativeJustice,orasReginaldWilkinson calls it- Community Justice. In the article "Community Justice in Ohio" published in Corrections Today (1997), Wilkinson explains community justice as, "a violation against individuals, their families, and the community in which they live. It [community justice] promotes an inclusive is more concerned with repairing the harm done to


the victim and the community through negotiation, mediation, empowerment and reparation, rather than through vengeance, deterrence and punishment." In an article written in Corrections Management Quarterly (2000), Reginald Wilkinson discusses his findings from a study on community justice and its impact on recidivism. The study showed that there is a positive statistical significance with regard to participation in community service and recidivism. Inmates who had any experience with community service were re-imprisoned less often than those who had no community service. For those inmates who did not participate in community service, the recidivism rate was 36.2 percent. However, those who did participate had a recidivism rate of 27.9 percent. WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE ? Criminologists expect crime rates in the future to either stabilize or begin to increase again. They tend to agree that the police, courts and correction system have removed the most serious offenders and think greater progress in reducing crime rates will be harder to achieve. According to the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Justice Policy Institute (1999), there is disagreement over what will happen to crime rates as the 14 to 20 year-old age groups again grow as a proportion of the population. Some experts project rising crime rates while others foresee crime rates leveling off in the near future.


POLICES AND PROGRAMS TO D ETER CRIME "Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising," a report by the Bureau of Justice, National Institute of Justice (July 1998; see website , reviews all evaluations of efforts to deter crime from occurring--assessing what effects the policies or programs had on crime. The results of this report are summarized here for the benefit of Ohio policymakers. Only programs that have been evaluated scientifically are included. Programs not included in this review may or may not be working. WHAT IS BEING D ONE O UTSIDE THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT WORKS? FAMILY INTERVENTION · Frequent home visits by nurses and other professionals prevent crimes against infants. · Classes with weekly home visits by preschool teachers lowers abuse against preschoolers. · Family therapy and parent training about delinquent and at-risk preadolescents reduces risk factors for delinquency. SCHOOL INTERVENTION · Organizational development for innovation in schools--school teams, e.g., reduces crimeanddelinquency. · Communication and reinforcement of clear, consistent norms about behavior through rules, reinforcement of positive behavior. · Teaching of social competency skills such as stress management, problem solving, self-control, etc.


· Coaching high-risk youth in "thinking skills" using behavior modification techniques reduces substance abuse. O THER · Job training for ex-offenders for older males reduces repeat offending. · Threat of civil action against landlords who do not address drug problems on premises of privately owned rental housing. WHAT IS BEING D ONE BY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT WORKS? BY POLICE · Extra police guards in high crime areas reduces crime in those places · Repeat offender units that reduce time on streets of known high-risk repeat offenders by monitoring them and returning them to prison sooner than otherwise. · Arresting domestic abusers reduces repeat domestic abuse if they are employed or live in neighborhoods where most families have an employed adult. AFTER ARREST · Incarceration of offenders who continue to commit crime when free, prevents future crimes they would commit. · Repeat offending can be reduced by appropriate treatment in rehabilitation programs. · Treatment for drug abuse while in prison reduces repeat offenses after release. The report also reviewed evaluations of programs that did not lead to reduced criminal behavior. WHAT D OES N OT WORK?

Treatment for drug abuse while in prison reduces repeat offenses after release.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS · Gun buy-back programs operated without geographic limitation on the eligibility of people providing guns for money fail to reduce gun violence in cities. · Mobilizing residents against crime in high-crime, inner-city impoverished areas fails to reduce crime. · Follow-up home visits by police to couples where an incident of domestic violence occurred, to provide counseling and monitoring does not reduce repeat offenses. · Neighborhood watch programs organized with police fail to reduce burglary or other target crimes, especially in high crime areas. · Arrests of juveniles for minor offenses cause them to become more delinquent, not less. · Arrests of unemployed suspects for domestic assault cause higher rates of repeat offending over the long run. · Increased arrests or raids on drug markets fail to reduce violent crime or disorder for more than a few days.


· Storefront police offices fail to prevent crime in the surrounding areas. · Police newsletters with local crime information failed to reduce victimization rates. · Summer jobs or subsidized work programs for at-risk youth fail to reduce crime or arrests. · Short-term, nonresidential training programs for at-risk youth fail to reduce crime rates. · Diverting adult offenders to job training as a condition of case dismissal fails to reduce criminal behavior of these persons. SCHOOL PROGRAMS · Individual counseling and peer counseling of students fails to reduce substance abuse or delinquency. · Instructional programs using information, fear arousal, moral appeal, and self-esteem, fail to reduce substance abuse. · School-based, leisure-time enrichment programs, including supervised homework and self-esteem exercises, fail to reduce delinquency risk factors or drug abuse. AFTER ARREST PROGRAMS · Correctional boot camps using traditional military basic training fail to reduce repeat offending after release more than serving time on probation. · Scared straight programs that take minor offending juveniles to see severity of prison life fails to reduce repeat offenses. · Shock probation, shock parole, and split sentences do not reduce repeat offenses more so than other programs that place person under community supervision. · Home detention with electronic monitoring for low-risk offenders fails to reduce offending. · Residential programs for juvenile offenders in rural settings using wilderness, challenge, or counseling programs do not reduce repeat offenses. In addition to evaluations of programs that do not work in preventing crime, policies and laws have come into question regarding their effectiveness of reducing crime. For example, mandatory minimum sentences require offenders to be incarcerated for a certain number of years. Because of the "get tough on crime" initiative, many politicians believed that mandatory minimum sentences would reduce crime. The discretion of the judge to sentence on a case by case basis no longer exists under this law, therefore a small time drug addict can get the same sentence as drug kingpins. The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives report, "Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy have spoken against mandatory minimums, as have the United States Sentencing Commission, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Veteran Police Officers." The Harvard Medical School concluded that, "mandatory sentencing laws are wasting prison resources on non-violent, low-level offenders and reducing resources available to lock up violent offenders." Alongside Harvard, the Rand Corporations has found


that treatment is "approximately seven times effective at reducing re-offending in drug cases than mandatory minimum prison terms." Some experts believe that mandatory minimum sentencing does nothing more than cost taxpayers money, overcrowd prisons with non-violent offenders, and increase racial and economic disparities in prison. WHAT IS PROMISING? Here are a few examples of efforts that appear promising based on available evaluations. · Community-based mentoring by Big Brothers/Big Sisters substantially reduced drug abuse in one experiment. · Community-based after-school recreation programs may reduce juvenile crime in areas surrounding recreation center. · Proactive arrests for carrying concealed weapons in gun crime hot spots reduced gun crime in Kansas City. · Community policing with meetings to set priorities reduced perceptions of the severity of crime problems in community. · Higher number of police officers in cities generally reduces crime. These results are for programs that have been scientifically evaluated to determine their impact on crime. Many other efforts, especially within the criminal justice system, are never evaluated rigorously. Proponents of these programs argue that they work while other criticize them as not working or point to undue hardship that results from their use.


Population projections indicate that by 2003 there will be a slight growth of youth between the ages of 15-24. To eliminate the possibility of an increase in crime due to this population shift, Ohio should focus efforts on preventative programs for youth similar to the examples provided by the ODR&C. As well as supporting such programs as Big Brothers Big Sisters and community- based after school recreation programs. Continued and increased support for new technologies such as the Ohio Incident-Based Recording System and the Victim Identification and Notice Everyday database. Along with increased financial support for Drug Courts across Ohio. Increased funding for effective treatment for drug and alcohol addicted citizens. In addition to programs to deal with poverty, neglect and abuse among Ohio's children. Ohio must invest in primary education and develop programs that will address value socialization, positive self-worth, and academic success for children before advancing to the fourth grade. Primary and secondary education along will job and skill training must be made available for our incarcerated population. Education is the key in reducing recidivism which intern reduces crime. Lowering the recidivism rate will also decrease cost to taxpayers because incarceration rates far exceed rehabilitative programs such as education.


Review mandatory minimum sentencing and its effects on offenders and taxpayers. Looktowardalternativesanctionssuchascommunitybasedcorrectionsandrestorative justice (community justice) to reduce prison overcrowding, cost to taxpayers and a reduction in the recidivism rate.



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