New York City Crime and Punishment

Continuing our look at New York City via The Almanac of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson and Fred Kameny, here are some facts and figures relating to crime and punishment in New York City.

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As has been widely reported New York City is a far safer place than it was in the recent past. Here’s how 1990 crime statistics compare to those of 2006. These figures reflect the number of crimes reported:

Murder: 2,262 (1990) vs. 597 (2006)
Rape: 3,162 (1990) vs. 1,500 (2006)
Robbery: 100,280 (1990) vs. 23,559(2006)
Grand larceny auto: 146,925 (1990) vs. 15,370 (2006)

How does New York City compare to the rest of the country? Looking at statistics from 2005, violent crimes are higher in New York City than the rest of the United States. There are 673.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people in New York City as compared to 469.2 for the United States. However, reports of rape are lower in NYC (17.4) vs 31.7 for the rest of the nation. Property crime is also less of a problem in New York with 2,002.4 reports per 100,000 people in New York City as compared to 3,429.8 in the United States.

In terms of punishment, from 2003 to 2006 the average daily inmate population dropped from 14,533 to 13,497 while the average length of stay in days for sentenced inmates also dropped from 40.7 days to 30.7 days.

While there are no longer any executions in New York City for criminal activity from 1639 to 1890 96 people were executed for murder. Other offenses that led to the death penalty included: Robbery (31 executions), Conspiracy and sedition (30), Piracy (15), Highway Robbery (8), Horse stealing (5), Buggery (1), Slave Revolt (1)

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