While cause and effect are always tough to prove, it should be noted some states saw larger drops in their crime rates than others. It is also true when a large state enacts a major change it affects the national averages. California 3-Strikes started in March 1994. California represents over 11% of the total national population. California reduced its crime at a greater rate than 49 other states. California decreases were twice the national average. Thus California and 3-Strikes has helped drop national averages.
Also a major factor was the 1994 National Crime Bill signed into law by then President Clinton. This bill provided federal grant money to hire 100,000 new police officers.
While the funding was limited to only 3 years, it was necessary for states to impose a “truth in sentencing” policy for violent offenders; this limited “good time credits” to no more than 15% of total time to be served, meaning that a criminal must serve 85% of his or her sentence.
This has taken society’s worst off the streets for longer periods of time, thus reducing crime rates.
What sociology experts have suggested for years is that crime rates are connected to population age brackets and economic conditions that reduce job availability.
This does not prove out. Today we have more people of every age bracket and this has been the worst job market in recent history.
So where is the big jump in crime?