Crime in Connecticut
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In 2010 there were 78,386 property crimes, 10,057 violent crimes, 130 murders, and 583 rapes reported in Connecticut. Five years later, in 2015 violent crimes dramatically decreased to 8,123, a drop of nearly 2,000. The violent crime rate in the state was 227 per 100,000 residents, compared to the U.S. rate of 397 per 100,000 nationwide. Connecticut released its most recent Uniform Crime Report in 2016. According to this report, there were 8,148 violent crimes committed that year. Of those, there were 77 homicides, 777 rapes, 2,709 robberies and 5,585 aggravated assaults.
On July 23, 2007, a home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut occurred, resulting in the murder of three people. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters were raped and murdered while her husband, Dr. William Petit, was severely injured but survived. The two perpetrators, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, received death sentences in 2010 and 2012 respectively. However, when Connecticut abolished the death penalty in 2015, both were resentenced. Steven Hayes was re-sentenced in 2016 to six life terms in prison. In 2017, Joshua Komisarjevsky and his lawyers filed a motion with the state Supreme Court for a new trial, claiming judicial errors during the pre-trial process.
Another notable criminal incident occurred on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. At approximately 9:30 a.m.t, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty school children and six school employees prior to committing suicide. Prior to the school shooting, Lanza murdered his mother. This incident remains one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, with the fourth-highest total of gunshot victim fatalities in U.S. history.
Crime rates dropping
Violent crimes in Connecticut have dropped by nearly 10% for the second year in a row according to the Uniform Crime Report statistics. In 2014, Connecticut reported 236.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people; crime that year was at its lowest rate since 1974. Additionally, with a drop of approximately 6.7% the state had the fourth highest crime-rate decrease nationally.
The eight major crimes reported to the FBI in the U.S. are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, automobile theft and arson. Overall, these types of violent crimes are decreasing in Connecticut.
Between 1616 and 2005, 126 people were sentenced to death and executed in Connecticut. In April 2012, Governor Dannel Malloy signed an order to abolish the death penalty; Connecticut was the 17th state in the nation to do so. Inmates formerly sentenced to death had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment without parole. Connecticut was the fifth state to abolish the death penalty between 2007 and 2012.
Most dangerous places to live
According to a 2014 FBI Uniform Crime Report, the Connecticut cities with the most violent crimes were Bridgeport (1,338), New Haven (1,380) and Hartford (1,380). These cities also had the most incidents of murder: Bridgeport with 11, Hartford with 19 and New Haven with 12. In Bridgeport, there were also 92 reports of rape that year which was significantly higher than the numbers for all of the other cities and towns in Connecticut. New Haven had the second highest number with 80 reported in 2014. The third highest was Hartford with 45 cases. Additionally, Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford had the highest robbery crime rates: 546 in Bridgeport, 502 in Hartford and 591 in New Haven. Crime was not nearly as widespread in other cities and towns. Possible reasons for the higher crime rates in these cities included their larger populations and widespread poverty levels.
Cities with lowest crime rates
According to NeighborhoodScout.com, the top ten cities with the lowest crime rates in Connecticut, as of 2018, are: Weston, Kent, Sherman, Washington, Pomfret, Barkhamsted, Cornwall, Sharon, Ridgefield, and Salisbury.
Connecticut has a state-level system that includes juvenile courts, detention centers, private facilities and juvenile correctional facilities. After juveniles are released, they get help from the Court Support Services Division of the Connecticut Judicial Branch and from the Department of Children and Family Services. Criminal statues for juveniles and adults are the same. However, if the offender is under the age of 18, they will be sent to a juvenile detention center and transferred over to Adult Court once they turn 18. State assistance for juvenile offenders has a number of objectives: to lower the rate of repeat offending in the community, provide offender rehabilitation, and help offenders understand the consequences of their actions. Police officers who stop these juveniles have several options. They will warn them, talk to the parents, let them go, offer organizations that can provide them with assistance and/or make an arrest. Children who are arrested have to go to a hearing in front of a judge at a superior court who decides whether or not to send them to a detention center.
Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Anyone under the age of 21 caught with marijuana will have their driver's license suspended for 60 days. If found with less than ½ oz. (first offense), a $150 fine is imposed. However, the fine is $500 for a repeat offense. For ½ - 4 oz., the first offense is one year of incarceration and a $1,000 fine. A second offense may be punishable by five years of incarceration and a $3,000 fine. Quantities amounting to more than 4 oz. of marijuana results in five years of incarceration and a $2,000 fine. For a second offense, it is a 10-year sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Connecticut residents with cancer, Crohn's disease, or HIV/AIDS may obtain a medical marijuana card. Growers of medical marijuana must be in buildings that meet the exacting standards of pharmaceutical factories.
- Uniform Crime Reporting Data Tool Archived 2013-07-03 at the Wayback Machine FBI. Retrieved August 10, 2012
- "Connecticut crime report: Murders down a lot, violent crime up a bit". The CT Mirror. The Mirror. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
- "Uniform Crime Reports: Publications & Queriable Statistics". CT.gov State of Connecticut.
- "Crime continues to drop in Connecticut, FBI reports".
- Michael Kirk, "The History of the Death Penalty in Connecticut," www.today.uconn.edu, Oct. 24, 2011,
- "Crime in the United States". ucr.fbi.gov.
- "Connecticut Crime". neighborhoodscout.com.
- "Office of Policy and Management". ct.gov.
- "Connecticut Marijuana Laws". statelaws.findlaw.com.