CSAC Bulletin Article

A Closer Look at California Arrests Report

According to the Public Policy Institute of California’s (PPIC) recent report, New Insights into California Arrests: Trends, Disparities, and County Differences, California’s arrest rate has declined by more than half since its peak in 1989 and the demographics of who is arrested have also changed.

The report shows evidence that racial disparities have narrowed, yet African Americans today are three times more likely to be arrested than whites. Additional findings in the report include that overall declines in arrests are driven primarily by plummeting arrest rates for juveniles and young adults and that individuals who are arrested tend to be nonwhite, younger and male.

The report also finds that women account for nearly a quarter of all arrests and that arrest rates vary substantially across counties. For example, counties with the lowest arrest rates tend to be large and urban, while counties with the highest arrest rates are typically smaller and rural.

Of particular interest to California Counties is the interactive tool accompanying the report that allows deeper exploration of arrest rates across California counties. Explore arrests statewide and by county—including the demographics of those arrested, how arrest rates have changed over time, and the most common offenses. A top-level fact sheet, Arrests in California, is also available on the PPIC webpage.

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