Up here in Maine, if you ask a bunch of people on the street which is the most dangerous, crime-ridden town in the state, more than half will name Lewiston. Lewiston, Maine has a reputation for crime that many people blame on immigrants from the country of Somalia. There’s just one problem with that claim: […]
Except wait, it’s not proof of that at all. As the share of the U.S. population made up of immigrants has more than doubled, the violent crime rate has actually fallen.
Does this information fail to match your preconception? Try working through the cognitive dissonance this time.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Uniform Crime […]
Since I moved to Maine, I’ve learned that Mainers think of some parts of their state as better than others. “Real Maine” includes the mill town of Millinocket, for example, but that term apparently doesn’t encompass the pastry, coffee and theater row of Hallowell. Someone needs to tell the thousands of people living in Hallowell […]
Since I’ve moved to Maine, I’ve encountered a lot of friendly people, but I’ve also heard many derogatory comments about the supposed criminality of Somali immigrants who began arriving in Lewiston, Maine in the year 2001. Last year, I decided to check the claim that Somalis had brought crime to Lewiston against the observed crime […]
Yesterday, I noticed the recent Twitter posting of a disgraced former GOP chair:
“In right-to-carry states the violent crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of the US and the murder rate is 28% lower.”
A quick look at the latest available Uniform Crime Reports shows that this claim is not true. But I […]
The Gallup Poll does a great job of juxtaposing two trends. On the one hand, we have Americans who are consistently convinced each year that crime has worsened compared to the year before:
And on the other hand, we have actual crime report data from the Department of Justice, which shows that violent crime […]
When I listen to people talk about the most “dangerous” places to live in Maine, the city of Lewiston constantly comes up. You wouldn’t want to live in Lewiston, people tell me. All the Somalis have made Lewiston a dangerous place to live, they say. You can see these kind of remarks online, too:
In the Spring of 2009, the FBI started warehousing DNA samples of Americans who had been arrested — but not necessarily convicted — of a crime. People declared not guilty of a crime, or who were never even charged with a crime, can have their DNA records expunged from the FBI database if they go […]
Brown, Esbensen and Geis’ Criminology 7th Edition expresses problems with the Uniform Crime Reports dryly:
“The UCR also can be a tool for political manipulation. Police administrators sometimes rely upon these data to justify requests for additional money for personnel, equipment, and training. At other times, the Crime Index can be manipulated by a department […]
This spring, the FBI expanded its practice of warehousing DNA sample data, expanding from samples of criminal convicts to samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. As a result, the FBI has been adding new samples to its database (which goes by the names of CODIS and NDIS) at […]