Attorney General Becerra Releases 2017 California Criminal Justice Data Reports

Monday, July 9, 2018
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Five reports published: Crime in CA, Hate Crime in CA, Homicide in CA, Juvenile Justice in CA, and URSUS: Use of Force Incident Reporting

Reports highlight statewide criminal justice data to promote transparency

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today released five annual criminal justice reports that provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on criminal justice statistics. The reports, as well as raw data supporting each report, can be accessed via the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website. The information contained in the 2017 publications reflects the statistical data submitted by California law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice entities.

The reports released are:

  • Crime in California
  • Hate Crime in California
  • Homicide in California
  • Juvenile Justice in California
  • URSUS: Use of Force Incident Reporting

“Transparency, trust, and communication are the pillars of safe communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In order to build safe and prosperous communities, we need to know the facts. That’s why this data is crucial to creating smart policies that ensure public safety throughout our State. The criminal justice data reports published today, along with the data made available to the public on our web portal, OpenJustice, are critical elements in building trust and opening lines of communication between Californians and their law enforcement agencies.”

The annual criminal justice reports and supporting data published by the California Department of Justice provide key findings, data visualizations, and downloadable digital datasets. These reports are updated annually on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website. Attorney General Becerra encourages researchers, academics, and interested parties to further analyze the data.

Crime in California 2017 presents statewide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, dispositions of adult felony arrests, adults placed on probation, full-time criminal justice personnel, civilian complaints against peace officers, domestic violence-related calls for assistance, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted.

  • The violent crime rate per 100,000 population increased 1.5 percent from 2016-2017 while the property crime rate decreased 2.1 percent.
  • From 2016-2017, the homicide rate decreased from 4.9 to 4.6 per 100,000 population.
  • From 2016-2017, the motor vehicle theft rate decreased 5.3 percent, from 448.9 to 424.9 per 100,000 population.
  • From 2016-2017, the arson and rape rates increased 10.7 and 6.9 (respectively) per 100,000 population.
  • The 2016-2017 total arrest rate decreased 2.5 percent, while the total felony violent offence arrest rate increased 1.9 percent per 100,000 population at risk. The at risk population refers specifically to individuals between the ages of 10-69.
  • From 2016-2017, the adult total arrest rate decreased 1.9 percent and the juvenile total arrest rate decreased 11.0 percent in 2017 per 100,000 population at risk.
  • From 2016-2017, the total homicide and robbery arrest rate increased 4.3 and 6.6 percent respectively per 100,000 population at risk.
  • The 2017 total arrest rate for rape remained the same as in 2016 at 8.3 per 100,000 population at risk.
  • From 2016 to 2017, the total felony drug offense arrest rate decreased 23.5 percent, while the marijuana and dangerous drug offense arrest rates decreased 73.7 and 12.7 percent, respectively per 100,000 population.

Hate Crime in California 2017 reports statistics on hate crimes that occurred in California during 2016, including the following key findings:

  • Hate crime events over the last year increased 17.4 percent, from 931 in 2016 to 1,093 in 2017.
  • Hate crime events involving a racial bias over the last year increased 16.0 percent, from 519 in 2016 to 602 in 2017. 
  • Anti-black or African American bias events rose from 251 in 2016 to 302 in 2017, an increase of 20.3 percent.
  • Hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias accounted for 22.5 percent of hate crimes reported in 2017.
  • Hate crimes with an anti-gay (male) bias increased 13.2 percent over the last year, from 152 in 2016 to 172 in 2017.
  • The total number of victims of reported hate crimes increased 10.9 percent from 1,145 in 2016 to 1,270 in 2017.
  • The number of suspects of reported hate crimes increased 3.2 percent from 982 in 2016 to 1,013 in 2017.

Homicide in California 2017 includes demographic data about homicide victims, persons arrested for homicide, persons sentenced to death, peace officers feloniously killed in the line of duty, and justifiable homicides.

  • The annual homicide rate decreased in 2017 (from 4.9 to 4.6 homicides per 100,000 population), for a total of 1,829 homicides in 2017 compared to 1,930 in 2016.
  • In 2017, 80.2 percent of homicide victims were male and 19.8 percent were female.
  • Over half (51.8 percent) of the female victims reported in 2017 were killed in their residence.
  • In 2017, the largest proportion of victims where race/ethnicity was identified were Hispanic, at 44.9 percent.
  • 70.9 percent of the homicides where the weapon was identified involved a firearm in 2017.
  • There were 148 justifiable homicides reported in 2017, an increase from the 142 justifiable homicides reported in 2016. Of the 148 justifiable homicides reported in 2017, 106 were committed by a peace officer and 42 were committed by a private citizen.

Juvenile Justice in California 2017 provides insight into the juvenile justice process by reporting the number of arrests, referrals to probation departments, petitions filed, and dispositions for juveniles tried in juvenile and adult courts.

  • There were 56,249 juvenile arrests reported by law enforcement agencies in 2017, down 10.4 percent from 62,743 juvenile arrests in 2016.
  • In 2017, there were 71,791 juvenile cases handled through probation departments, of which 38,232 were referred to and decided by a juvenile court.
  • Of individuals handled formally by a juvenile court, 62 percent were made wards of the court.
  • There were 190 juveniles whose cases were decided in adult court in 2017. Of these, 61.1 percent were convicted.

URSUS: Use of Force Incident Reporting 2017 presents a summary of use of force and discharge of firearm incidents that were reported to the California Department of Justice. Use of force and discharge of firearm incidents are defined in Government Code section 12525.2.

  • In 2017, there were 707 incidents that involved use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death, or the discharge of a firearm.
    • Of the 707 reported use of force incidents, 353 involved the discharge of a firearm.
  • In 2017, there were 741 civilians and 1,687 officers involved in the incidents reported.

    By driving research, reporting, and conversation, OpenJustice can help Californians better understand how the criminal justice system shapes various aspects of their lives, from safety, housing, education, health, and family, to economic opportunity. The launch in September 2015 of the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website established California as a leader among U.S. states in criminal justice transparency.

    A complete copy of the reports can be found online:

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