Monday, June 18, 2012

Must read: What you know about the crime rate is probably all wrong

From The LA Times Nation section, today: Matt Pearce, "Think you know about crime in the U.S.? Think again"

This is ultimately more about how we perceive crime, and why, than about actual crime rates — and guess what, if you watch TV, you're more likely to have it wrong.


David Lundy said...

So I get that the in-prison crimes are not included in the crime statistics and thus if you add those numbers in you get a higher number. But I don't imagine those crimes were included last year or any previous year, so we don't really know how that would skew the numbers, do we?

Steven Ayres said...

The reference to prison crime is an effort to be complete in detail, but it's beside the point, as you noticed. The point of the piece is that there's a huge disconnect between public perception of crime and the facts because of our mediated culture. The problem with this is that we make public-policy decisions based on information that's not just faulty, but completely wrong. Hint: It's not just crime.