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Publication Violent Crime in the United States

March 1, 1991    NCJ 127855

In 1989 were there 21,500 murders according to the Uniform Crime Reports. An estimated 4.6 million households had a member who experienced one or more violent crimes. The change of being a violent crime victim is greater than that of being hurt in a traffic accident. There have been increases in all crime categories since 1985. Aggravated assaults reflected the largest percentage gain followed by robbery, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, and forcible rape. Crime victims are more likely to be persons who live in central cities than those who live in suburban or rural areas. Blacks are more likely than whites to be victims of a violent crime. Of all violent crimes, 55 percent are committed by strangers, 32 percent by acquaintances, and 8 percent by relatives. Offenders brandished or used firearms in 11 percent of all violent crimes committed in 1989. Between 1980 and 1989 the number of arrests for serious violent offenses increased by nearly 73 percent. An estimated 55 percent of offenders confined in State prisons in 1986 had been convicted of a violent offense. An estimated 39 percent of juvenile offenders were incarcerated for having committed a violent crime.


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