Attorney General Bonta Releases California Criminal Justice Statistical Reports for 2022

Friday, June 30, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Includes first annual report on Crime Guns in California as mandated by Assembly Bill 1191 

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the release of the annual Homicide in California, Crime in California, Use of Force Incident Reporting, Juvenile Justice in California, and Crime Guns in California statistical reports. The information contained in the reports reflects statistics for 2022 as submitted by California law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice entities. The reports provide policymakers, researchers, law enforcement, and members of the public with vital statewide information on criminal justice statistics in California to support informed policy choices based on data and analysis and help protect the safety and well-being of all Californians. This year, in accordance with Assembly Bill 1191 (D-McCarty), the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has released the first annual Crime Gun in California Report, which provides insights on patterns and trends relating to recovered firearms that have been illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime.

“Having access to good data is a cornerstone of responsible public policy. The data released today is essential for understanding, preventing, and combating crime,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In 2022, California made significant progress towards reducing its homicide rates, but more remains to be done. While crime rates remain significantly below their historical highs, property and violent crimes continue to have devastating consequences for communities across the state, and gun violence remains a major threat to public safety. Despite having a gun death rate significantly below the national average, gun violence accounted for nearly three-fourths of all homicides in California in 2022. That is unacceptable. My office is committed to confronting these crimes head-on by holding law-breakers accountable, providing victims the resources they need to heal, and working proactively to prevent crime from happening in the first place.”

Each year, DOJ publishes annual reports on various criminal justice statistics in California. While law enforcement agencies across the state are in the process of transitioning to the new data collection system known as the California Incident-Based Reporting System (CIBRS), the format of the information made available in this year’s reports remains consistent with previous years. The ongoing transition to incident-based reporting will ultimately enable law enforcement agencies to collect more in-depth information about specific incidents than previously available in the legacy system that had been in use for decades. For instance, under the legacy system, statistical data was typically collected using the “Hierarchy Rule,” i.e., only the most serious offense within a criminal incident is counted for statistical purposes. As a result, if a robbery and a homicide occurred in the same incident, the legacy system only counts the homicide for statistical reporting purposes.

Through CIBRS, policymakers, law enforcement, and members of the public will eventually have more detailed information, context, and specificity about crime in the state. Law enforcement agencies across California are currently in the process of transitioning to CIBRS. To date, more than 600 reporting agencies have completed the transition and are in the process of becoming certified by DOJ. DOJ continues to work with agencies across the state during this ongoing transition. In the interim, in order to help ensure the annual criminal justice reports remain complete and accurate to the fullest extent possible, DOJ continues to accept data in both the legacy and CIBRS formats. The information made available in this year’s reports is a combination of data collected under both reporting methods. The Attorney General encourages researchers, academics, and all members of the public to analyze the data and use it to help inform public discourse on the state’s criminal justice system.

Key findings from each of the four reports released today and a brief description of their contents are available below:

Homicide in California 2022 provides information about the crime of homicide, including demographic data of 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:

  • The homicide rate, defined as the number of homicides per 100,000 people in the state, decreased 5 percent in 2022 (from 6 per 100,000 in 2021 to 5.7 per 100,000 in 2022), remaining significantly below California’s historical high of 12.9 per 100,000 in 1993. The number of homicides in 2022 remains roughly half of the number of homicides in 1993, despite the population swelling from approximately 31 million in 1993 to more than 39 million in 2022.
  • Firearms continue to be the most common weapon used in homicides. In 2022, 73.6% of homicides, where the weapon was identified, involved a firearm.
  • Among California’s 36 counties with populations of 100,000 or more, Merced County experienced the highest reported homicide rate (12.3 per 100,000) and Santa Cruz County, the lowest (0.8 per 100,000).
  • Among homicides where the victim’s relationship to the suspect was identified, females (37.1%) were more likely than males (7.7%) to be killed by their spouse, parent, or child.
  • There was a 4.2% decrease in total homicide arrests from 1,550 in 2021 to 1,485 in 2022.

Crime in California 2022 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 violent crime rate — i.e., the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people — increased 6.1% from 466.2 in 2021 to 494.6 in 2022, remaining significantly below California’s historical high of 1,103.9 in 1992.
  • The property crime rate increased 6.2% from 2,178.4 in 2021 to 2,313.6 in 2022, remaining significantly below California’s historical high of 6,880.6 in 1980.
  • The total arrest rate decreased 2.7% from 2,606.3 in 2021 to 2,535.2 in 2022, continuing an ongoing year-to-year downward trend that began in 2004 when the total arrest rate was 5,385.5.
  • In 2022, the total number of adults on active probation reached its lowest level since 1980 at 151,402.
  • The total number of full-time criminal justice personnel — including law enforcement, prosecutors, investigators, public defenders, and probation officers — decreased 1.4%. From 2021 to 2022, the number of law enforcement, prosecution and probation personnel decreased 1.3, 0.3 and 3.6 percent, respectively.

Use of Force Incident Reporting 2021 presents a summary overview of use of force and discharge-of-firearm incidents involving a peace officer, as defined in California Government Code section 12525.2. Some of the key findings include:

  • In 2022, there were 597 incidents that involved the use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death of a civilian or officer, or the discharge of a firearm. Of those incidents:
    • 49.4% occurred during a call for service.
    • 16.1% occurred while either a crime was in progress or while officers were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances.
    • 74.9% resulted from a vehicle, bike, or pedestrian stop.
  • In 2022, 612 civilians were involved in incidents that involved the discharge of a firearm or use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Of those civilians:
    • 48.4% were Hispanic.
    • 25.3% were white.
    • 19.3% were black.
  • In 2022, 1,375 officers were involved in incidents that involved the discharge of a firearm or use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Of those officers:
    • 82.5% were not injured.
    • 17.1% were injured.
    • 0.3% died. 

Juvenile Justice in California 2022 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:

  • Of the 36,640 referrals of juveniles to probation, 94.5% were referred by law enforcement.
  • Of the 26,000 juvenile arrests:
    • 45.8% were for a felony offense.
    • 49.8% were for a misdemeanor offense.
    • 4.4% were for a status offense, defined as acts that would not be classified as crimes if committed by adults.
  • Of those same juveniles:
    • 62.5% were referred to probation.
    • 20.6% were counseled and released.
    • 16.9% were turned over to another agency.
  • Of the 17,627 juvenile cases that were formally handled by a juvenile court, 51.3% resulted in juveniles being made wards of the court.
  • Of the 59 juvenile cases tried in adult court, 71.2% resulted in a conviction.

Crime Guns in California 2022 provides insight into patterns and trends relating to recovered firearms that have been illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime — also known as “crime guns”— including the leading sources and origins of those firearms. Some of the other key findings include:

  • Approximately 545,946 unique crime guns with identifiable serial numbers were recovered by law enforcement agencies in California and entered in the Automated Firearm System (AFS) between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2022. Additionally, approximately 85,402 crime guns were entered in AFS without any recorded serial number over this period.
  • 76,135 (13.94%) of the serialized crime guns entered in AFS over this period could be associated with a total of 1,929 distinct California firearm dealers.
  • While all the identified dealers sold or transferred at least one firearm that was later recovered as a crime gun, 344 dealers were associated with only one crime gun and 82 dealers were associated with roughly half of all crime guns (38,230 firearms). The highest number of crime guns associated with one dealer was 1,652.
  • On average, each licensed dealer sold or transferred 39 firearms that were later identified as a crime gun.
  • The manufacturers associated with the most crime gun records included: Smith & Wesson; Glock; Sturm, Ruger, & Co.; Taurus Forjas; and Remington.
  • Crime guns were recovered by law enforcement in all 58 counties.
  • Counties with higher populations tended to have higher numbers of crime guns. However, when accounting for crime guns per capita, a county’s population size did not appear to have any reliable correlation with its number of crime guns per person. In other words, more populous areas, like cities, were not necessarily more likely to recover more or fewer crime guns per capita than less populous area.
  • Over the past decade, California experienced a significant increase in the number of crime guns recovered without serial numbers. In 2022, there was a 7% drop in the number of crime guns without serial numbers reported statewide, the first decrease recorded since 2013.

The Homicide in California report is available here. The Crime in California report is available here. The Use of Force Incident Reporting report is available here. The Juvenile Justice in California report is available here. The Crime Guns in California Report is available here. The underlying data associated with the annual reports is available on OpenJustice here.

# # #