Headlines announcing recent declines in crime rates have become commonplace across the United States. In 1997, Atlanta, Georgia, experienced a 22% drop in homicides, an 11% decline in burglaries, and a 21% decline in larceny. In Washington, D.C., the number of homicides dropped 24% in 1997. From 1996 to 1997, the homicide rate in New York fell 23%; in Los Angeles it dropped 20%; and in San Antonio it dropped 17%.

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