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Forecasting Future Crime Rates in SJC Sites 

01-11-2024 06:47 PM

Originally posted by Wendy Ware on 01-02-2024


Over the past few years, The JFA Institute, with the support of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, has been working with renowned criminologists to develop statistical models that serve to both explain past crime rate trends and forecast future crime rates. 

These models are based on the historic rise in crime rates that began in 1980 and the subsequent decline since the mid 1990s.  The research found that a small number of demographic and economic factors accurately explain the prior changes in crime rates and can be used to  project future crime rates. The major economic factor associated with rising and falling crime rates is the inflation rate.

The Guggenheim Foundation recently released an updated national forecasting report plus reports for three major metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  These reports can we found on the JFA website US, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago reports

All individual studies had the same major findings. The uptick in crime rates for 2021 and 2022 was largely associated with three new developments: the COVID-19 pandemic, the associated rise in inflation, and widespread unrest in reaction to police violence. As all three of these factors continue to ease, both violent and property crime rates are expected to decline. Consistent with this forecast and the recent drop in inflation, the FBI’s UCR’s 2022 versus 2023 crime data show significant declines.

Relevant to the SJC sites, the models also show that reducing prison/jail populations by another 20% would not impact the projected declining crime rates. 

Results and findings like these are a valuable resources in combating recent false narrative surrounding the relationship of crime and jail population reductions. If you are interested in having a similar forecast developed for your SJC site, please contact Dr. James Austin at

Wendy Ware
The JFA Institute
Denver, CO

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