Alabama
Crime rates* (2019)
Violent crimes
Homicide7.3
Rape42.2
Robbery80.4
Aggravated assault381.0
Total violent crime510.8
Property crimes
Burglary531.9
Larceny-theft1,886.1
Motor vehicle theft28.9
Total property crime2,674.4
Notes

*Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

* Alabama did not report arson statistics

Source: [1]

This article is about crime in the U.S. state of Alabama.

Crime rates in Alabama overall have declined by 17% since 2005. Trends in crime within Alabama have largely been driven by a reduction in property crime by 25%. There has been a small increase in the number of violent crimes since 2005, which has seen an increase of 9% [1] In 2020, there were 511 violent crime offenses per 100,000 population. Alabama was ranked 44th in violent crime out of a total 50 states in the United States.[2]

History

Following Secession in the United States in 1861, Alabama underwent major changes following the Reconstruction era. The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan during the 19th century reinforced institutionalized White supremacist ideals and facilitated greater incidents of crime and violence in the state. Jim Crow laws limited the rights of Black people and ushered in violent reactions from both White and Black populations.[3] During the period of Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan became regularly involved in acts of crime and violence. Hostility toward Black populations saw a rise in arson and murder, particularly against the growth of the agricultural independence of freedmen. Property crime during this period was prevalent.[4] Violence and protest in rural counties of Alabama were common, particularly in Birmingham, Alabama. The Ku Klux Klan gained significant political and Social control during the period between 1920 and 1930 in Birmingham, leading to an increase in Nightriding which involved kidnappings, floggings and even lynchings.[5]

The Civil rights movement in America saw a wave of increased protest and violence against Black injustice. The Selma to Montgomery marches on March 7, 1965, involved the killing of Viola Liuzzo and the brutal violence against activists by state troops.[6] During the Civil Rights movement between the 1950s and 1960s, extremist gangs and hate crime increased and continued into the 1970s. Racial hate and Crime organisations like the Ku Klux Klan increased membership between this time from between 35,000 and 50,000.[7]

Congress of Racial Equality and members of the All Souls Church march in memory of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victims on September 22, 1963
Congress of Racial Equality and members of the All Souls Church march in memory of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victims on September 22, 1963

The Ku Klux Klan was responsible for the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in 1963. Bombs were placed under the Church killing four children: Cynthia Wesler, Carole Robertson, Addie Collins and Denise McNair. This led to increased investigation into the crimes of the Klan, convicting Robert Chambliss in 1977, who was head of the Klan, as well as Thomas Blanton Jr. who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 2002, Bobby Frank Cherry was convicted of murder and received a life prison sentence from his involvement in the bombing.[7] Attempts to prevent increased crime from organisations such as the Ku Klux Klan include the 'highly secretive and extra-legal domestic covert action program' COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE aimed at exposing and disrupting Klan activities in the United States and Alabama. This program incorporated the use of informants, spies and information tracking mechanism. This included the well known FBI informant and Klan member Gary Thomas Rowe.[8]

Statistics

In 2008, there were 211,401 crimes reported in Alabama, including 357 murders, 190,292 property crimes, and 1,618 rapes.[9] In 2014, there were 174,821 crimes reported in Alabama, including 276 murders, 154,094 property crimes, and 1,436 rapes.[9] Alabama had the third highest homicide rate in the US in 2016, with 407 violent deaths categorized as murder or manslaughter, according to statistics released by the FBI. Nearly 26,000 violent crimes were reported in 2016 in the state.[10] In 2020 there have been, in Jefferson County alone, 134 homicides, including 95 in the state's biggest city, Birmingham.[11] In 2021, the violent crime rate dipped by 2% from 5.2 incidents per 1,000 from 5.1 in 2020. Alabama is still 38% higher than the national average in Violent and Property crime. Aggravated assault accounts for 75% of all violent crime in Alabama, which is 10% higher than the nationwide proportion. Robberies also account for 16% of all violent crimes, 27% lower than the nationwide proportion.[12]

Homicide in Alabama

Homicide in Alabama is the least common crime in Alabama, with less than 400 homicides each year from 2005 to 2019, compared to larceny which saw over 106,000 cases in 2010 and 109,000 in 2011.[1]

Gun crime

Gun Death rates have increased greatly by 31% between 2014 and 2019. There has been a sharp increase in firearm homicide of 67% between the same period. In 2019, more than 1000 people died from gun violence in Alabama

Capital punishment laws

Main article: Capital punishment in Alabama

Capital punishment is applied in this state.[13]

Abortion in Alabama

Abortion in Alabama is legal

Prison System in Alabama

History

During the 19th century, Alabama was run by a county, without a state prison system. County officials such as Sheriff were the one of the only means of security. Alabama's first state prison, Wetumpka State Penitentiary, was established in 1839.[3]

Prison Crime

Prison killings and suicides are a common occurrence in U.S state prisons. In 2020, Alabama's prison homicide rate of 69 per 100,000 incarcerated persons was almost nine times that of the recent national average.[14]

Prison violence has not just occurred by inmates, but also from correctional officers. In 2011, Lt. Michael A. Smith, a senior officer involved in the beating of an inmate, Rocrast Mack, was charged with intentional murder. A very rare case for officers and staff to be charged with murder.[15]

Government Initiatives

In 2017, the United States governor, Kay Ivey, awarded grants totaling $646,513 to aid non-profit organizations in southeast Alabama to support victims of crime. This included, $120,513 to assist domestic violence victims in Dale and Geneva counties, $76,000 to assist child victims of sexual assault and abuse in Covington County, as well as $238,000 to help child abuse victims in Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties.[16]

Crime rates by Year

The below table of data Crime Rates includes the total crimes which is an amount associated with all different types of crimes, as well as Property Crimes, Homicide, Rape, Robbery, Burglary, Assault, Larceny and Motor Vehicle. A common standard of measurement in crime rates accounts for the number of crimes per 100,000 population.

Crime rates in Alabama 1973 - 2019 - Rates per 100,000 Population [17][18]
Year Total Offenses Property Homicide Rape Robbery Burglary Assault Larceny Motor Vehicle
1973 2582.3 2232.2 13.1 21.2 79.4 881.9 236.2 1655.9 227.4
1974 3000.1 2627.2 14.9 22.6 99.4 1058.0 235.7 1308.7 260.6
1975 3472.5 3079.6 15.9 20.4 122.9 1163.8 233.5 1645.6 270.2
1976 3800.3 3419.5 15.1 21.6 96 1170 255.9 1987.3 262.3
1977 3939.6 3501.6 15.1 26.4 102.1 1197.6 294.3 1989.5 295.1
1978 3905.8 3492.4 13.2 48.7 98.5 1217.7 276.4 1974.2 300.6
1979 4222.1 3812.2 13.0 53.2 112.2 1286.6 259.7 2216.8 308.7
1980 4867.4 4424.4 13.0 56.9 131.1 1507.2 269.2 2607.4 309.8
1981 4793.6 4334.1 11.4 49.1 123.9 1411.8 298.7 2642.3 280.0
1982 4615.0 4169.9 10.4 49.7 112.2 1249.6 296.6 2647.6 272.6
1983 4127.0 3708.0 9.0 46.0 100.0 1079.0 286.0 2390.0 233.0
1984 3995.8 3554.2 9.6 49.3 99.1 1025.2 307.2 2289.0 240.0
1985 3915.8 3462.2 9.7 51.6 105.2 1027.1 312.1 2177.7 257.1
1986 4167.1 3623.3 9.8 53.3 109.9 1127.0 396.3 2236.3 260.0
1987 4444.8 3886.7 9.5 53.6 113.3 1196.1 407.4 2427.1 263.5
1988 4296.3 3768.7 9.3 54.1 111.2 1163.7 379.0 2354.3 250.8
1989 4472.6 3898.8 9.9 57.8 131.6 1102.3 402.2 2509.7 286.8
1990 4808.7 4116.1 11.4 61.4 141.7 1078.2 507.6 2694.8 343.7
1991 5131.4 4306.0 10.8 65.9 149.2 1215.9 631.1 2739.7 350.4
1992 4901.7 4082.3 10.5 70.0 156.7 1098.9 615.7 2641.7 341.7
1993 4737.4 3987.5 11.3 63.8 159.4 1049.4 546.1 2611.3 326.8
1994 4830.6 4144.3 11.9 65.1 169.1 1024.2 471.6 2794.6 325.5
1995 4802.1 4181.0 11.0 59.1 181.0 1010.8 398.4 2825.9 344.4
1996 4761.6 4186.3 10.1 61.0 160.7 983.8 373.4 2842.8 359.7
1997 4804.6 4233.8 9.6 60.0 158.4 973.2 371.6 2913.8 346.8
1998 4438.0 3914.1 7.9 61.7 126.8 894.1 357.1 2700.1 330.2
1999 4272.1 3790.6 7.8 60.8 120.2 848.0 324.0 2650.8 291.8
2000 4298.1 3801.6 7.1 59.5 118.5 827.6 340.1 2710.5 263.6
2001 4097.6 3652.4 7.8 117.3 117.3 838.6 290.1 2549.0 264.8
2002 4278.5 3849.2 6.6 67.2 127.1 894.4 260.6 2657.3 297.5
2003 4317.8 3904.5 6.6 66.7 128.4 913.3 243.7 2671.7 319.5
2004 4317.7 3896.0 6.2 70.7 128.5 947.3 250.2 2650.8 297.9
2005 4136.9 3709.3 7.3 63.9 135.0 905.4 252.0 2528.0 275.9
2006 3996.5 3583.5 7.7 61.6 142.7 888.6 230.5 2406.6 288.5
2007 4205.2 3777.2 8.5 58.5 151.0 931.6 238.1 2562.3 283.2
2008 4330.4 3891.8 7.3 62.9 151.6 1023.1 247.0 2596.3 272.4
2009 4032.0 3603.7 6.8 62.9 128.5 990.9 262.7 2387.7 225.2
2010 3739.6 3358.0 5.3 50.2 95.8 854.8 254.3 2292.0 211.1
2011 3983.5 3561.1 6.8 56.2 101.7 1050.0 285.1 2297.1 214.0
2012 3769.2 3336.6 6.7 50.4 99.4 933.0 300.3 2211.8 191.8
2013 3598.0 3179.6 7.1 41.0 93.4 831.3 277.0 2140.5 207.8
2014 3392.5 2987.8 5.6 39.0 92.4 770.3 267.8 2020.1 197.3
2015 3343.8 2885.3 7.3 40.9 92.7 703.0 317.6 1976.6 205.7
2016 3403.1 2885.2 8.1 38.5 93.7 683.6 377.6 1967.4 234.2
2017 3,471.5 2,949.1 8.6 41.0 86.8 641.4 386.0 2,045.2 262.5
2018 3,360.9 2,837.8 7.8 41.6 82.8 595.4 390.9 1,970.8 271.6
2019 3,185.2 2,674.4 7.3 42.2 80.4 531.9 381.0 1,886.1 256.5

References

  1. ^ a b "Crime.Alabama.gov Home Page". crime.alabama.gov.
  2. ^ "State Summaries Alabama | 2020 Annual Report".
  3. ^ a b Kte'pi, Bill, (2012), The social history of crime and punishment in America: An encyclopedia, SAGE.
  4. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael, (1997), The Ku Klux Klan: Property Crime and the Plantation System in Reconstruction Alabama, Agricultural History Society.
  5. ^ Chalmers, David, (1987), Hooded Americanism: the history of the Ku Klux Klan, Duke University Press.
  6. ^ Turner, James P, (2018), Selma and the Liuzzo Murder Trials: The First Modern Civil Rights Convictions, University of Michigan Press.
  7. ^ a b Finley, Laura L, (2018), Gangland: an Encyclopedia of Gang Life from Cradle to Grave, ABC-CLIO, LLC.
  8. ^ Drabble, J, (2008), "The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE, and the decline of Ku Klux Klan organisations in Alabama, 1964-1971, Alabama Review, 61(1), 3-47.
  9. ^ a b "Alabama Crime Rates 1960 - 2017". www.disastercenter.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "Alabama has America's third highest murder rate". al. September 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "24-year-old identified as man fatally shot while walking dog". al. October 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "The State of Safety in Alabama 2021". SafeWise. June 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Facts about capital punishment - the death penalty". www.religioustolerance.org. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "Stabbing Death at St. Clair Is 14th Alabama Prison Homicide in Past Year". Equal Justice Initiative. February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ Cohen, Fred, (2012) Alabama Prison Violence: Officer Charged with Murder, Correctional Law Reporter
  16. ^ United States: Governor awards grants to assist crime victims in southeast Alabama, (2017), MENA report
  17. ^ "Crime.Alabama.gov | Home Page". crime.alabama.gov.
  18. ^ "Alabama Crime Rates 1960 to 2019". www.disastercenter.com.