The Clinton Presidency:|
Lowest Crime Rates in a Generation
America's families and communities faced serious crime problems in 1992.
More violent crimes were reported in 1992 than ever before, with nearly
two million murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults occurring
in the United States. Gun crime had skyrocketed to the highest point in
20 years with more than half a million total gun crimes reported.
Parents fought a daily battle to keep their children away from drugs and
gangs, as more young people than ever were involved in violent crimes.
In 1992 alone, more than 850,000 children were victims of violent crime,
and guns killed 5,379 children -- an average of nearly fifteen every
day. Communities struggled to fight crime, but the federal response
remained bogged down in partisan differences.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore enacted policies that imposed
tougher penalties and enforcement along with smart crime prevention
measures, funded more than 100,000 new police officers on America's
streets, provided the leadership to pass common sense gun safety
legislation including the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban, and
implemented a comprehensive anti-drug strategy.
Support for Proven Local Solutions: 100,000 Community Police Officers
Community Policing Initiative is Improving America's Neighborhoods
|THEN:|| Communities struggled to fight rising crime rates.|
Between 1989 and 1992, violent crime rates increased by 13
percent. In 1992, there were nearly two million murders, rapes and
aggravated assaults reported. Cities including Houston, Boston and
New York brought down crime rates with community policing, but most
communities lacked the resources to hire and redeploy enough police
officers to fight and prevent crime.
|NOW:|| 100,000 new community police funded along with record
investments in local law enforcement.|
President Clinton fought for and signed a plan to help
communities across the country move to community policing by
funding the hiring and redeployment of 100,000 new police officers
over five years. The Clinton-Gore Administration's COPS
initiative, passed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill, has provided
more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies funding to hire or
redeploy more than 100,000 police officers. In 2000, President
Clinton won over $1 billion to help communities take the next step
and hire up to 50,000 more police officers by FY 2005. The federal
government has also made record investments helping local
authorities fight crime -- increasing funding for state and local
law enforcement by more than 300 percent since 1993. Overall crime
rates has dropped every year under President Clinton and Vice
President Gore, the longest continuous drop on record and crime is
now at a 26-year low.
"By working in the same neighborhoods day-in, day-out, we developed real
ties to the community. We took real steps to fix problems in
neighborhoods. We formed partnerships. We problem solved. We
prevented crime... COPS money makes this possible... Thank you, Mr.
President, for making it possible to fulfill my dream. Thank you for
making it possible to return our police to their communities. Thank you
for being the first president to take the police truly seriously, to
listen to us, and to give us the tools we need to keep our people safe."
Common-Sense Gun Safety Laws: the Brady Act and the Assault Weapons Ban
- Corporal Irma Rivera, Arlington County Police Department, Arlington,
Virginia. Corporal Rivera has been with the Arlington County Police
Department since April 1992. Due to a COPS grant, she was able to join
the Community Based/Problem-Oriented Policing Section, which worked to
rid Arlington neighborhoods of gang and drug-related crime.
|THEN:|| Gun violence reaches record levels.|
Gun violence reached its highest point in 20 years; a record
565,000 Americans were victims of gun crime in 1992. Murders by
juveniles increased by 65 percent between 1987 and 1993, reaching
the highest level ever in 1993. In 1992, an average of nearly 15
children every day were killed by firearms through violence,
accidents or suicides.
|NOW:|| Common sense gun safety laws bring down gun crime by 40
President Clinton fought the gun lobby and won common sense
gun safety laws including the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons
Ban. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, overall gun crime has
declined 40 percent, and firearms related homicides committed by
juveniles have dropped by nearly 50 percent. There were 227,000
fewer gun crimes in 1999 than 1992, and 1,246 fewer children were
killed by guns than in 1992.
Common-Sense Gun Safety Laws Are Making America Safer
- Background checks performed under the Brady Law have
prevented more than 611,000 felons, fugitives and domestic
abusers from buying a gun.
- The Assault Weapons Ban, passed as part of the 1994 Crime
Bill, banned the manufacture, sale and importation of 19 of
the deadliest assault weapons.
- The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked with state and
local governments to increase prosecution of gun crime.
Since 1992, the number of federal firearms cases has
increased 16 percent, and as a result of this
Administration's unprecedented partnership with states and
localities, overall gun prosecutions - federal, state, and
local combined -- are up 22 percent. In addition, federal
gun offenders are serving sentences that are about two years
longer than in 1992 and the number of serious gun offenders
sent to federal prison for more than five years is up more
than 41 percent.
- Clinton-Gore Administration U.S. Attorneys in Richmond
(Project Exile) and Boston (Operation Ceasefire) were
instrumental in innovative efforts to crack down on armed
drug traffickers, violent criminals, gang members and violent
youth which has helped to reduce crime in these cities. The
Clinton-Gore Administration has also implemented a
comprehensive crime gun tracing initiative -- the Youth Crime
Gun Interdiction Initiative -- in 38 cities to trace crime
guns and identify and arrest illegal gun traffickers.
- Finally, to combat violence in schools, the Clinton-Gore
Administration enacted the Gun Free Schools Act, which
requires schools to adopt zero-tolerance policies toward guns
in schools and expel students bringing firearms to school.
Over the 1996-98 school years, nearly 10,000 students were
expelled from public schools for bringing a firearm to
"President Clinton, you and your administration have helped make this
country safer through your support for the Brady law and the 1994 crime
bill and your persistence in pursuing common-sense laws and strategies
to reduce gun violence."
"If my son Scott had not been shot by a classmate with a grudge and an
assault weapon over ten years ago, I might likely be a grandmom today...
With the leadership and perseverance of President Clinton, we won the
fight to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, and have taken an important step
toward preventing countless other families from suffering the way my
- James Brady, February 11, 2000. James S. Brady was shot along with
President Reagan and two law enforcement officers in an assassination
attempt in 1981. Although seriously wounded by the gunshot wound to the
head, Mr. Brady has actively lobbied for stronger gun laws.
Since then, Bryl has worked tirelessly to promote the passage of common
sense gun laws, including the successful passage of the 1994 Assault
Strong Gun Enforcement Reduces Violent Crime
- Bryl Phillips-Taylor. Bryl Phillips-Taylor lost her son, Scott, the
summer before he was scheduled to enroll in college at Virginia Tech in
1989. Scott was killed by a fellow student who held a grudge against
him after luring him into the woods and shooting him six times with an
AK-47 assault rifle that he had taken from an unlocked gun storage shed.
"Five short years ago, Richmond was known nationwide for our high crime
and murder rates. Today, we've received national attention not for the
problem, but for the solution. We've attacked crime from all fronts,
and one of the most successful avenues has been through strong gun
enforcement. President Clinton shares my philosophy that America needs
to send a strong message to gun criminals that breaking gun laws will
not be tolerated. That's why we worked with the Clinton Administration
to create the nation's first "Project Exile" program, a partnership at
the federal and local levels that has guaranteed that anyone caught with
an illegal gun serves five years in federal prison. Project Exile is
now being replicated across America by other communities, and gun
prosecutions are up. Project Exile's success in getting tough on gun
criminals is due in no small measure to our partnership and President
Clinton's leadership in the fight to reduce crime and gun violence"
Tough and Smart Crime Fighting Policies: The 1994 Crime Bill
- Colonel Jerry Oliver, Chief of Police, Richmond, Virginia. Colonel
Oliver is nationally recognized for his success in helping to
dramatically reduce crime in Richmond through innovative new
partnerships and programs, such as "Project Exile." Created through a
partnership with the Clinton Administration, U.S. Attorney Helen Fahey,
Colonel Oliver and community leaders, "Project Exile" has helped take
gun criminals off of the streets of Richmond by ensuring that felons
caught illegally carrying firearms serve a minimum five year sentence in
|THEN:|| Political division blocks progress in fighting crime|
While crime increased during the 1980s and early 1990s,
Washington bickered over false choices between punishment and
prevention. This political division blocked passage of a federal
crime bill for six years. When President Clinton took office, the
violent crime rate had skyrocketed to the highest point in 20
years, juvenile violence reached record levels, and gang and drug
violence were epidemic in many communities.
|NOW:|| Tough and smart crime-fighting policies enacted|
President Clinton launched a new approach to crime fighting
that emphasized both tough anti-crime measures like increased
prosecution, more prisons and stiffer penalties, as well as smart
prevention measures including expanding community policing, common
sense gun safety laws, increased drug treatment, and after-school
programs. The 1994 Crime Bill was a historic turning point in
federal anti-crime efforts, enacting the COPS program and banning
the importation of 19 of the most dangerous assault weapons. The
Crime Bill also contained:
Local Partnerships are Reducing Crime in Boston
- Stiffer criminal penalties including a federal
"three-strikes-and-you're out" law and expansion of the death
penalty for killing a law enforcement officers and incentives
for states to adopt truth-in-sentencing for violent
- Drug courts to provide increased judicial supervision and
drug treatment for non-violent offenders and boot camps for
first-time young offenders.
- Increased funding for prison construction, and anti-drug and
- A new law making it illegal for juveniles to own handguns.
- Registration of sexually violent offenders with state
officials upon release from prison.
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which quadrupled
funding for battered women's shelters, increased resources to
prosecute domestic violence offenders, and established a
nationwide 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline.
"The Clinton Administration has been a key partner in all of our
efforts, whether it's been through major grants, consistent public
support for our collaborative efforts or deploying personnel from
federal agencies, such as BATF, DEA, FBI, INS and the US Attorney, to
work on task forces with us. We are very grateful for this
Violence Against Women Act Funding Supports
Domestic Violence Shelters and Services
- Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans, November 16, 2000. In the
early 1990's, Boston faced a surge in homicides, gang-related crime, and
youth violence. To address their crime problems, the Boston Police
Department forged working relationships with Mayor Thomas Menino; local
probation officers, parole officers and prosecutors; local, state and
federal agencies; and each of Boston's neighborhoods. As a result,
Boston has reached its lowest violent crime rate since 1971, the number
of homicides is at its lowest point since 1961 and every year since
1993, the number of juveniles killed by guns has decreased.
"VAWA money that Esperanza has received in the past has assisted our
program with victims in the court system. In fact, with VAWA funding,
we were able to hire a court advocate who helps women obtain protection
orders, helps them with security, and provides translation services. I
am proud to say that our court advocate has helped about 1,500 women to
date... President Clinton is a very strong advocate who cares and
supports women everywhere. He is a person to be there to care when
caring makes the difference between despair and hope."
Successful Drug Control Strategy: Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement
- Connie R. Trujillo, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Connie Trujillo is a
domestic violence survivor and the Executive Director of Esperanza,
Shelter for Battered Families, one of the oldest battered women's
shelters in the country. With Violence Against Women Act funding,
Esperanza has been able to hire a court-based advocate to assist victims
in obtaining orders of protection and in safety planning, and in one
year, this advocate has assisted about 1,500 victims in court.
|THEN:|| Ineffective drug control strategy leaves drugs flowing and
The nation suffered from an unbalanced and ineffective drug
control strategy that left more than a million addicted individuals
untreated, and failed to cut the supply of drugs to America's
communities. In 1992, there were 1,302 drug-related murders,
approximately 555 tons of cocaine flooded the streets, and 62
percent of those who needed drug treatment went untreated.
|NOW:|| Balanced, effective anti-drug strategy|
President Clinton placed a new emphasis on a balanced
anti-drug strategy. He elevated the Drug Czar to a cabinet-level
post, replaced political appointees with professionals and
appointed four-star General Barry McCaffrey as director of the
office -- the first person with a drug interdiction background to
hold the post. Funding for anti-drug efforts has increased by more
than 50 percent -- from $12.2 billion in 1993 to $18.5 billion in
Drug Courts Are Reducing Crime and Drug Abuse
- Prevention funding has increased by one-third, including a
successful Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest
targeted media effort ever to educate youth about the dangers
of drug use.
- Treatment funding is up 33 percent, and the treatment gap has
closed by five percent. To break the cycle of drugs and
crime, President Clinton funded Drug Courts to provide
treatment for non-violent offenders and helped to expand the
number of Drug Courts from a dozen in 1994 to more than 400
in October 1999. The number of federal inmates receiving
substance abuse treatment rose from 1,135 in 1992 to 10,816
in 1999, and the Administration has encouraged states to
adopt comprehensive drug testing and intervention for
prisoners and parolees.
- President Clinton has also stepped up interdiction and
enforcement efforts. The Administration has increased the
number of FBI, DEA, and Border Patrol Agents and is working
with allies to stop international cultivation and
trafficking. Seizures of cocaine, marijuana and
methamphetamine reached record levels in 1999. Drug-related
arrests and convictions also increased, with arrests up 46
percent and federal convictions rising by more than 20
"President Clinton's historic expansion of drug courts across our nation
has played a vital role in our success in reducing crime and drug abuse
in our communities. Drug Courts across the United States are resulting
in increased sobriety and reduced criminality among drug using
offenders. By demanding accountability, but also providing
rehabilitative services to this drug using population, Drug Courts are
creating safer and healthier communities, while reducing the numbers of
offenders in custody and the financial costs to our communities."
Progress For America's Families and Communities in the Fight Against
- Judge Jeffrey S. Tauber, President of the National Association of Drug
Court Professionals and Director of the National Drug Court Institute.
Judge Tauber initiated and presided over the design and implementation
of the Oakland Drug Court Program, one of the first in the nation, and
was also the first chair of the California Association of Drug Court
- Crime Rate Drops Every Year: The overall crime rate has
dropped for 8 years in a row -- the longest continuous drop
on record -- and is now at a 26 year low.
- Violent Crime Down Every Year: The violent crime rate is at
its lowest level in over two decades and is 30 percent lower
than it was in 1992. In 1999, the homicide rate dropped to
its lowest point since 1966. The murder rate has dropped
more than 38 percent since 1992.
- Gun Crime Rate Drops Dramatically: Since 1993, the
gun-related crime rate has declined by more than 40 percent.
The number of juvenile gun offenders peaked in 1993, and has
dropped 57 percent since then.
- School Crime Rate Down: The school crime rate -- the number
of thefts or violent crimes committed at schools -- has
decreased from 155 per 1,000 students in 1993 to 101 per
1,000 students in 1998. That's a drop of nearly 35 percent.
- Domestic Violence Declines: The number of women experiencing
violence at the hands of an intimate partner declined 21
percent from 1993 to 1998.
- Teen Drug Use Drops: Teen drug use has turned the corner,
dropping for the third year in a row. Youth marijuana use
has dropped over 25 percent.
- Record Levels of Federal Drug Seizures: Federal drug seizures
have increased to record high levels since 1993, including
the highest level of federal cocaine seizures ever -- a 10
percent increase over 1992 levels. In 1999, federal agents
seized more than three times the amount of marijuana than was
seized in 1992.
- Cocaine Supply Decreases: Coca leaf eradication in Bolivia,
Colombia and Peru increased by more than five times between
1992 and 1998. The amount of cocaine available for
consumption in the United States has dropped by more than 30
percent since 1992.
- Drug-Related Murders Cut in Half: The drug related murder
rate has been cut almost in half since 1992. Drug related
murders are now at their lowest level in over a decade.