Jeff Sessions Is Right About Violent Crime

Jeff Sessions just said we’ve seen a spike in violent crime “the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1960s.” Is that true? Let’s roll the tape:

Sessions should have said “since the 1980s,” but that’s a minor mistake. In fact, the violent crime rate rose more than 3 percent in both 2015 and 2016, and that’s the biggest spike since 1991. Hate crimes were even worse, rising about 5 percent last year. So Sessions is on solid ground if he just changes his decade.

Now, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about this. The gasoline lead phaseout that led to the big crime drop of the 90s and aughts has mostly been played out. At this point, we’re probably going to see fairly flat crime rates with small spikes up and down from year to year. The current increase is worrisome, but not something to panic about unless it continues for several years. That said, Sessions is well within his rights to call it out.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate