New crime numbers for the state are out. They show a jump in crime in some areas, but also show not all of the crooks are going to jail.
Today the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center released the statistics from 2011. More than 191,000 crimes were reported statewide during 2011. There was almost $468 million worth of property stolen. Violent crime was up 11 percent. This included 311 murders, which was a 22 percent increase over 2010.
"Naturally we are seeing more upward trends a little bit particularly in some of the more severe crimes in homicides and robberies," John Sloan, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at UAB said.
The report also broke down the number of cases cleared, which means an arrest or lack of evidence to make an arrest. The more serious the crime, the higher clearance.
Homicides were cleared 67 percent of the time in 2011. Rapes 46 percent, motor thefts 24 percent and burglary 15 percent.
"A lot of people don't cooperate. Don't come forward. Not enough evidence and police naturally allocate their resources," Sloan said.
But, locking the bad guy is not always the answer according to one state lawmaker. Senator Cam Ward of Alabaster heads the senate judiciary committee. Ward has been an advocate of prison reform.
"Like community corrections, drug courts. These other programs that punish offenders but don't fill up all of our prisons. If we don't use them we are in real danger of the federal government coming in and taking over our prisons," Ward said.
The republican lawmaker's attempts at sentencing reform failed the last legislative session.
As for future crimes, with a weekend in the 100 degree plus range, Sloan says there is evidence that the hotter the temperature, the more likely we are to see violent crimes.
Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive