A comprehensive report on crime in America released Thursday reaffirms previous data that show young black males are most likely to be murder victims and that nearly all Americans will fall victim to theft.
At current crime rates, the report said, 1 in 30 black males will be a murder victim, compared with one in 179 for white males. The rate for black females is 1 in 132 compared with 1 in 495 for white females.Among men and women between 15 and 34, homicide is the second most frequent cause of death after accidents, the No. 1 cause.
Attorney General Edwin Meese and other officials appearing at a news conference billed the report as a comprehensive "portrait" of crime in the nation today, although most of the statistics have been previously reported.
"Almost every one of us will be the victim of a theft at some time in our lives," Meese said. And he said it's estimated five-sixths of today's 12-year-olds will be the victim of an attempted or completed crime of violence if current levels of crime continue.
While an estimated 95 percent of state prison convicts have been convicted of violent crimes "or have a history of prior sentences to probation, jail or prison," the report said that in 1983 50 percent of those released from state prisons served prison terms of 19 months or less.
The 134-page "Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice" was prepared over the past two years by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and is an update of the first edition, produced in 1983.
The report's section on where crime occurs showed that 87 percent of violent crimes by strangers occurred away from the victim's home; 40 percent of violent crimes by persons known to the victim occurred in or near the victim's home.
The report said that 32 percent of all rapes occurred in and around the victim's home. Of all violent crimes committed, 26 percent occurred in or near the victim's home.
According to statistices from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, violent crime rates increased in all types of places from 9 percent in rural areas to 20 percent in suburban areas.
In all, more than 1.5 percent or about 3 million Americans are in jail or prison or on probation or parole. And three of four adults under "correctional care or custody" are not in jail or prison.