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The Effects of Changing State Theft Penalties

The Pew Charitable Trusts examined crime trends in the 23 states that raised their felony theft thresholds between 2001 and 2011, a period that facilitates analysis of each jurisdiction from three years before to three years after the policy change. Pew also compared trends in states that raised their thresholds during this period with those that did not.

This chartbook illustrates three important conclusions from the analysis:

Raising the felony theft threshold has no impact on overall property crime or…
Past Event
March 15, 2016, 12:00am

Pew Charitable TrustsThe Pew Charitable Trusts examined crime trends in the 23 states that raised their felony theft thresholds between 2001 and 2011, a period that facilitates analysis of each jurisdiction from three years before to three years after the policy change. Pew also compared trends in states that raised their thresholds during this period with those that did not.

This chartbook illustrates three important conclusions from the analysis:

  • Raising the felony theft threshold has no impact on overall property crime or larceny rates.
  • States that increased their thresholds reported roughly the same average decrease in crime as the 27 states that did not change their theft laws.
  • The amount of a state’s felony theft threshold—whether it is $500, $1,000, $2,000, or more—is not correlated with its property crime and larceny rates.

 


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