94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

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94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

This is a discussion forum topic for the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.


Here are some alarming stats from ojjdp.gov:

Of the over seven million arrests made per year in the USA, only 6% are for violent crimes.

Yes, that means 94% of the over seven million arrests are for non-violent crimes.

In fact, over half of a million arrests (over 500,000!) are for marijuana alone. That's just for marijuana. And that's only per year, so in two years it's a million people arrested for marijuana. In ten years, it's five million people arrested for marijuana alone.

The total number of arrests for all non-violent crimes combined is 7,170,930.

That's right. Out of the 7,632,470 arrests made each year, 7,170,930 are for non-violent crimes.

By the police's own stats and charges, violent crime arrests is just a teeny tiny fraction of all arrests, let alone all crime.

But guess what? It gets even worse. Because even when we drill down on that tiny fraction of 6% of arrests that are for violent crimes, they get revealed as often silly or outright false, meaning the accused is innocent.

For an example of the false, you can simply take a look at Project Innocence's data. Based on a meta analysis of various studies, they estimate that between 2.3% and 10% of all prisoners in the USA are actually innocent. They have used DNA evidence to exonerate thousands of convicted pseudo-criminals.

For an example of the silly, John Oliver did a great, informative, and hilarious piece on school police, in which he reports about how school officers arrest more than 54,000 students per year. He includes reports about children being charged with assault for things such as throwing a paper airplane. He reports about a five-year-old with ADHD who had a tantrum and was charged with battery on a police officer.

When we drill down on that teeny tiny fraction of arrests that are even purportedly for "violent crimes" such as "battery on a police officer", think of that 5-year-old kid.

Even the measly 6% of arrests that are allegedly for violent crime often really aren't, or at least aren't what you'd often imagine.

Maybe it's just a 5-year-old throwing a tantrum. Maybe it's someone who had some marijuana and then gets accused of very slightly resisting arrest. Plenty of extremely peaceful pacifists get accused of and charged with crimes that are technically "violent crimes" on paper. So even that 6% is less than it seems.

The victims of real violent victimization such as murder and rape are some of the ones hurt most by this. Imagine if all those resources put towards arresting millions of peaceful people for non-violent crimes like marijuana possession was instead put towards real violent crime like murder and rape. The stats don't lie. If the time, energy, and resources put towards the 94% of arrests for non-violent crimes was instead put towards real violent victimization like murder and rape, then that would mean nearly 10 times as much time, energy, and resources would be put towards real violent victimization like murder and rape.

But, of course, these things are inefficient and ineffective by design. It's a feature, not a bug. What's waste to taxpayers is profit to those receiving the checks. What's a solution to a problem for citizens is instead the loss of an excuse to those profiting from the money being thrown at a problem. Problems are profitable for bureaucrats, lobbyists, and industrial complexes. Solving problems isn't. If you want more poverty, start a government war on poverty. If you want more of anything, just start an expensive government war on it.


😅


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About the Author: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes is the author of the book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Damian Keyes »

I'm so glad that you discussed Project Innocence because it's scary how many people (especially those of color) are put in jail for decades for a crime they did not commit. I've read an article not too long ago that listed all the states that have these laws decriminalizing marijuana. The above chart scares me because many violent crimes are not reported.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Damian Keyes

Thank you for your wise thoughtful comment! :D

Damian Keyes wrote: April 1st, 2023, 1:23 am The above chart scares me because many violent crimes are not reported.
Good point!

There's many different reasons why a serious violent crime (e.g. rape, battery, domestic abuse) might go unreported. However, one big reason is that the victims or witnesses might be understandably afraid of the police. For example, if some peaceful person is smoking marijuana in their own car and has some unused marijuana still in their car, then there

Likewise, if some peaceful gay people are on a secret date in Uganda and witness some violent crime, they would likely not report it to the police, since they would probably get imprisons or executed if they did.

In addition to being an act of violent victimization themselves, criminalizing victimless and/or consensual behaviors such as homosexuality and smoking marijuana contributes to both (1) violent crimes not being reported as often and (2) resources being diverted from dealing with violent crime to instead enforce the nanny state bans on non-violent consensual behaviors.

Thank you again for thoughtful and wise reply! :)


Thank you,
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Catalina Isabel »

This is so incredibly sad. I am quite interested to learn more about Project Innocence.
In New Zealand, where I am, I think the statistics would be much better. Here, there are more chances before a conviction, more programmes to help, and other things such as "community service" and home detention where a person stays in their own home rather than prison for a period of time.

It is especially sad that in the USA, punishments are given to those that shouldn't even be punsihed, which takes the resourced away from others.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by NadiaBoateng »

The USA used to be a harbor, a safe haven and paradise on earth for so many people. Right now, many are just afraid to even visit. The rate of gun violence over the last decade is a concern. One needs to sleep with one eye open because of the uncertainties. Even in your own home, you are not completely safe because some neighbors may just decide to engage in shoot outs. Police arrest has become so rampant I don't even know where to start.
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brit
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by brit »

Oh wow, this is sad fact. They should be focusing more on the killing and murder cases, since there are so many cold cases. Also many missing person cases which needed to be solved. I’m sure it would be difficult for the family that are left off.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Mari Inez »

I think its important to stay up to date with this information the prison system. Thank you for sharing.
Marie Chalupova
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Marie Chalupova »

Those numbers are really crazy. I would like to see comparison with some European countries. I feel like the issues is more prevalent in USA. You see those videos on police violence all the time, where person supposedly was acting violent or offended them and they retaliate with brute force.

How would you yourself deal with non-violent crimes if prison is not a working solution for many of those cases?
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Anita Jonker »

The processes are ineffective, and if you include the human element to it, each person pursues their selfish agenda, then it gets incredibly complicated.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Pranav Dewangan »

Your post is eye-opening for me. It did a few things for me. First, it showed very few of the crimes are of an extreme nature which restores my faith in humanity. Secondly, as you pointed out our justice system can focus on those crimes first and put our resources on them as a priority as compared to other petty crimes or false accusations. But the truth is that it's hard to change the system. Everything has to fall into place to change how the system works. But I am glad you posted this here for our awareness. Maybe one day the people in higher power will read "In It Together" and decide to change the system for once and all. Your book has already started to change who I am :)
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Alissa Nesson »

I saw that John Oliver segment. It really is eye-opening. It’s definitely become dangerous for children to have the police stationed at their schools. Nobody should be arresting a 5-year-old for assaulting a police officer after having a very age-appropriate tantrum. Kids are kids, and they deserve a safe space to act their age.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Ruth Siriba »

Advocates for criminal justice reform often argue that an emphasis on non-violent offenses may contribute to issues such as over-incarceration, potentially diverting attention and resources away from addressing more serious crimes. This perspective aligns with the broader conversation around the need for a balanced and effective criminal justice system.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Sushan »

It's shocking to consider that 94% of over seven million arrests annually in the USA are for non-violent crimes, with a significant chunk for marijuana offenses alone. This immense focus on non-violent crimes not only diverts crucial resources from tackling genuine violent crimes like murder and rape but also illustrates a grave misallocation of law enforcement efforts. Moreover, the data suggesting that a non-trivial percentage of those arrested for violent crimes might be falsely accused or charged under questionable circumstances raises serious concerns about justice and law enforcement priorities in the country.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Mounce574 »

I've included some files against a violent offender against me. This person was convicted of Shooting With Intent To Kill, Domestic Assault By Strangulation, and Assault and Battery on an Officer. He was given 20 years probation! No time in jail. Last year, they closed his case- he is off probation already.
Screenshot 2024-05-29 5.41.00 PM.png
His original date for conviction was in 2014. He violated probation in 2018 by being charged with possession.
They allowed him out without having to pay for a bond.
In 2022, he assaulted yet another woman and her child.
He is still walking free to do it AGAIN.
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Re: 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes. Only 6% are for alleged violent crimes.

Post by Mojisola Omowunmi Omotosho »

I find it quite concerning that 94% of arrests in the USA are for non-violent crimes, leaving only 6% for alleged violent crimes. This statistic suggests that the criminal justice system might be overly focused on minor offenses, which could be diverting resources away from addressing more serious and violent crimes. It raises questions about the priorities in law enforcement and whether the current approach is effective or just. Perhaps it's time to reevaluate policies to ensure that they are not disproportionately targeting minor infractions, while also ensuring that violent crimes are more adequately addressed. This could lead to a more just and balanced system that truly enhances public safety.
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