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Press Release

FBI Crime Numbers for 2017 Show Declines Across the Board

Data mirrors similar drops found in Brennan Center analysis.

September 24, 2018

New York, N.Y. – The FBI today released crime data from 2017, showing a decrease in all categories of crime across the country. Ames Grawert, senior counsel in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and author of a snap analysis of today’s data, issued the following statement:

“Crime declined nationwide last year, consistent with our earlier analyses of 2017 data in the nation’s 30 largest cities. That’s the good news. The bad news is that even while crime is falling, the number of Americans incarcerated remains near-record highs. Now is the time to address the problem. Congress and states should back commonsense sentencing reform that would correct grave injustices in the way we sentence and incarcerate. Republicans and Democrats agree on this issue, and Congress has no excuse for punting on criminal justice reform yet again. We’re hopeful that, by the end of this year, legislation will be passed to send people home from prison.”

The FBI reported that the national crime rate fell 3.3 percent in 2017. The Brennan Center’s 2017 analysis found that the drop is in large part driven by continued declines in property crime. During the same period, the national murder rate fell 1.45 percent. Declines were especially pronounced in cities with populations over 1 million, where total murders decreased by 8.1 percent.

To read the Brennan Center’s analysis of the FBI crime data released today, click here. To see its final analysis of 2017 crime rates in America’s 30 largest cities, click here. And to read the preliminary estimates of crime in the same 30 cities for 2018, click here.

For more information or to connect with a Brennan Center expert, contact Rebecca Autrey at and 646–292–8316.