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Publication Violent Crime in the United States

January 1, 1981    NCJ 79741

Statistics developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that businesses, minorities, and young people are particularly vulnerable to the threat of violent crime. Data show that the high costs of operating the criminal justice system fall mostly on State and local governments, while high rates of incarceration have caused serious overcrowding in the Nation's prisons and jails. Six percent of all U.S. households are touched by violent crime, with assault being the most common violent crime. In 35 percent of all violent crimes, weapons were displayed or used. Victims of violent crime are most often young and male, and blacks are more likely than whites to be violent crime victims. Data also indicate that juveniles and youthful offenders account for more than 40 percent of all violent crime. Less than 10 percent of reported violent crimes result in incarceration, although criminal justice expenditures increased by 147 percent during the 1970's. Among regions, the rate of violent crime reported in 1979 was highest in the five States that make up the Pacific region.

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