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New Orleans—On Wednesday, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy released a report titled “Crime in Louisiana: Analyzing the Data.” The report is a data-driven look at Louisiana’s crime numbers and seeks to inform the ongoing debate over criminal justice policy with real facts and figures.

“Public safety reform is too important not to get right,” said Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the Pelican Institute. “Decisions should be grounded in facts and data, and reforms should reflect proven policy that increases public safety, reduces crime, and makes the best use of scarce tax-payer dollars. To do that, we must first have the facts.”

The report was produced using the Louisiana data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report and Bureau of Justice Statistics. The data show that while crime spikes in recent years have been a serious concern and must be addressed, they were a nationwide phenomenon, not a problem unique to Louisiana.

Key findings from the paper include:

  • Property crimes are decreasing in Louisiana.
  • Increases in violent crime were a nationwide event in 2020, impacting almost every state.
  • The amount of time served by violent offenders has increased between 2000-2021.
  • Violent crime increases in Louisiana were lower than in other southern states.
  • Increases in violent crime are not correlated with criminal justice reforms or decreased incarceration rates.

The Pelican Institute reiterated a series of recommendations to reduce crime and increase public safety:

  • Properly fund the police.
  • Focus law enforcement time and resources on preventing and solving the most serious crimes.
  • Continue to enact smart-on-crime policies that increase public safety and reduce the revolving door in and out of prison.

Read the full report here.