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Modern Criminal Justice - A Drop In Crime, But Not Fear

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During the 1990s the rate of violent crimes decreased significantly. Some claimed community policing, more police officers, and longer prison terms were key factors. Others pointed to the aging population in general and a stronger national economy. Previous studies had shown that most crimes were committed by males between seventeen and thirty-four years of age. By the 1990s, the number of males in this age range was steadily declining. Continuing into the twenty-first century, the homicide rate in the United States, though down from previous years, remained high compared to other industrialized nations. It was seven times greater than Canada and forty times greater than Japan.

Though crime rates declined, people still felt vulnerable. Crime was widely publicized in the media and seemed more random in its victims. Mass or large-scale shootings at schools and businesses as well as terrorist threats made the entire nation feel uneasy. Increased security in public buildings and at airports kept the threat of crime uppermost in people's minds. Despite the changes in criminal justice since the 1920s, citizens have continued to search for the answers to try and eliminate crime or at least to control it.

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