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NCCU Completes 10-Year Arrest Trends Study


North Carolina Central University (NCCU)’s Juvenile Justice Institute found a steady reduction in misdemeanor arrests starting in 2008 as part of an investigation into low-level crime arrests in Durham from 2007 to 2016.

The study, executed in partnership with Durham Police Department, found that misdemeanor arrests dropped by 50.9% over the covered period, compared to a 43.6% drop in the more serious felony charges.

“Throughout the period, the number of misdemeanor arrests remained far greater than felony arrests,” said Lorraine C. Taylor, Ph.D., director of the NCCU Juvenile Justice Institute.

Slightly fewer than 4,500 misdemeanor arrests per 100,000 population took place in 2007, compared to about 2,300 in 2016. Felonies dropped from about 1,700 per 100,000 population to approximately 1,000 during the same time period.

Misdemeanors amounted to 72.3% of all arrests during the initial year of the survey, dropping to 69.5% of all arrests in 2016.

Other findings included a drop in misdemeanor arrests of males by 31% between 2007 and 2016. Female misdemeanor arrests dropped as well but by a smaller margin.

The findings were released on May 17, 2019, in the Albert Turner Law Building on NCCU’s campus, with representatives from the Institute, Durham Police Department and members of the project’s advisory board present.

The Juvenile Justice Institute was among six partners chosen in 2017 to participate with the Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice in New York in conducting research to examine the impact of police enforcement on lower-level criminal offenses.

Based on a project at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York, the Data Collaborative for Justice initiative is funded by a $3.25 million, three-year grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Other academic partners include the University of California Los Angeles, Seattle University and University of Maryland. The Department of Criminal Justices is part of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at NCCU. A link to the full report is available here.

For questions and additional information, please contact Dr. Lorraine Taylor at 919-530-7092 or lorraine.taylor@nccu.edu, or Dr. Robert Brown, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, at rabrown@nccu or 919-530-5185.

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