Attorney General Becerra Releases 2018 California Criminal Justice Statistics Reports

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

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 the data behind each report, can be accessed via the OpenJustice website. The information contained in the 2018 publications reflects the statistical data submitted by California law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice entities.

“Good policy is rooted in the facts,” said Attorney General Becerra. “With the reports released today, legislators, academics, journalists, and other members of the public will now have the most recent data on our criminal justice system to inform their work. At the California Department of Justice, we know that transparency is an important component to promoting accountability and enhancing trust between law enforcement agencies and the public they serve.”

The reports released today are:

The 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 analyze the data and use it to help inform public discourse on the criminal justice system in California.

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 2015 launch of the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website established California as a leader among U.S. states in criminal justice transparency.

Key findings from each of the reports and a brief, partial description of their contents are available below:

Crime in California 2018 presents statewide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, dispositions of adult felony arrests, adult probation, criminal justice personnel, civilians’ complaints against peace officers, domestic violence-related calls for assistance, anti-reproductive-rights crimes, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. Some of the key findings include:

  • The homicide rate decreased 4.3 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • The robbery rate decreased 4.5 percent in 2018 (from 142.9 in 2017 to 136.4 in 2018).
  • The motor vehicle theft rate decreased 8.3 percent in 2018 (from 424.9 in 2017 to 389.6 in 2018).
  • From 2017 to 2018, the adult total arrest rate decreased 0.1 percent, while the juvenile total arrest rate decreased 17.9 percent.
  • From 2017 to 2018, the total felony drug offense arrest rate decreased 5.8 percent, with narcotics and dangerous drug offense arrest rates decreasing 6.1 and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Hate Crime in California 2018 presents statistics on hate crime events, hate crime offenses, victims of hate crimes, and suspects of hate crimes during 2018. This report also provides statistics reported by district and elected city attorneys on the number of hate crime cases referred to prosecutors, the number of cases filed in court, and the disposition of those cases. Some of the key findings include:

  • Hate crime events decreased 2.5 percent from 1,093 in 2017 to 1,066 in 2018.
  • The number of suspects of reported hate crimes increased 7.9 percent from 1,013 in 2017 to 1,093 in 2018.
  • Hate crime events involving a racial bias overall decreased 1.3 percent from 602 in 2017 to 594 in 2018.
    • Anti-black or African American bias events fell from 302 in 2017 to 276 in 2018, a decrease of 8.6 percent.
    • Anti-Hispanic or Latino bias events rose from 126 in 2017 to 149 in 2018, an increase of 18.3 percent.
  • Hate crime events involving a religion bias decreased 2.9 percent from 207 in 2017 to 201 in 2018.
    • Anti-Jewish bias events rose from 104 in 2017 to 126 in 2018, an increase of 21.2 percent.
    • Anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias events fell from 46 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
  • Hate crime events involving a sexual orientation bias decreased 3.3 percent from 246 in 2017 to 238 in 2018.

Homicide in California 2018 provides information about the crime of homicide, including demographic data on victims, persons arrested for homicide, persons sentenced to death, peace officers feloniously killed in the line of duty, and justifiable homicides. Some of the key findings include:

  • There were 1,739 homicides reported in 2018, representing a decrease of 4.9 percent from the 1,829 reported in 2017.
  • In 2018, 79.8 percent of homicide victims were male and 20.2 percent were female.
  • When the victim-offender relationship was identified:
    • 45 percent were killed by a friend or acquaintance;
    • 31.2 percent by a stranger; and
    • 18.2 percent by their spouse, parent, or child.
  • Of the homicides where location was reported:
    • 35.9 percent occurred on the street or sidewalk;
    • 25.4 percent in the victim’s residence; and
    • 10 percent in a residence other than the victim’s.
  • Firearms have consistently been the most common weapon used in homicides. In 2018, of the homicides where the weapon was identified, 68.7 percent involved a firearm.

Juvenile Justice in California 2018 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. Some of the key findings include:

  • Over one half of the juveniles (52.2 percent) were arrested for a misdemeanor offense, over a third (37.2 percent) were arrested for a felony offense, and the remainder (10.6 percent) were arrested for a status offense.
  • The number of juvenile arrests has decreased by 17.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • Nearly one-third (32.9 percent) of the juvenile cases referred to county probation departments were closed at intake, indicating that no further action was taken.
  • Of the juveniles handled formally by the juvenile court, six out of ten (60.8 percent) were made wards of the court.
  • Of the juveniles tried in adult court, 76.5 percent were convicted.

Use of Force Incident Reporting 2018 presents a summary overview of use of force and discharge of firearm incidents involving a peace officer, as defined in Government Code section 12525.2. Some of the key findings include:

  • In 2018, there were 628 incidents that involved use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death of a civilian or officer; or the discharge of a firearm.
    • Of the 628 incidents, 74.2 percent (466) resulted in an arrest.
  • In 2018, 677 civilians were involved in incidents that involved the discharge of a firearm or use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death.
    • Of the 677 civilians, 46.7 percent (316) were Hispanic, 28.5 percent (193) were white, and 19.1 percent (129) were black.
    • Of the 677 civilians, 62.5 percent (423) were injured, 15.5 percent (105) were not injured, and 21.6 percent (146) died.
  • Of the 1,552 officers in incidents that involved the discharge of a firearm or use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death in 2018, 16.4 percent (255) were injured, 83.4 percent (1,294) were not injured, and 0.2 percent (3) died.

A copy of the reports can be found here.

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