The FBI has released its annual crime report for last year, and the conservative members of the U.S. Justice Action Network—three of whom are also Right on Crime signatories— issued the following statements.

Bottom line is this: while any increase in any crime is cause for concern, America is still much safer today than in decade’s past. States and the federal government should continue efforts to adopt empirically proven, data-based approaches to improve public safety:

Marc Levin, policy director of Right on Crime and director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation said, “Any increase in violent crime is, of course, tragic and concerning.  However, we simply don’t have enough long-term data to point to any trends in crime rates.  Although this new data is troubling, it must be noted that these rates are still near those not seen a nearly half a century.  I am pleased that Texas, which led the way on conservative criminal justice reform a decade ago, had both a smaller increase in violent crime and a greater decrease in property crime than the national averages last year.  Conservatives must redouble our efforts to implement proven, data-driven approaches that save taxpayer money and enhance public safety.”

Adam Brandon, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, said, “The FBI’s crime report is disheartening and tragic, but a one- or two-year increase in violent crime and homicide doesn’t not a trend make. The fact is that crime is at historic lows. Americans are safer walking down the street today that any point since the early seventies. Lawmakers at both the federal and state levels should continue to pursue policies that have been so successful in conservative states at reducing recidivism and protecting the public.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said, “Conservative justice reform reduces crime. Period. A single data point should not stop leaders in DC and the state capitols from taking a look at the policies that work, and those that do not. In fact, half of the homicide spike can be attributed to seven poorly managed cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, DC, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Kansas City. Thankfully, the long term studies bear out the results of smart crime policies. For ten years, longer than the single year increase we see today, red states across the nation have seen a serious decrease in crime and the meaningful savings that come from smart sentencing policies and common-sense alternatives to incarceration. Now, more than ever, we need to act on what we know will keep our communities safer.”

Faith & Freedom Coalition Executive Director Tim Head said, “Public safety has been and will continue to be the focus of Faith & Freedom while working toward data driven federal and state justice reform.  Any increase in violent crime must be addressed, and our continued focus on sentencing and prison reforms that safely reduce jail and prison populations, reduce recidivism, and promote strong families by removing barriers for those re-entering society, have proven to effectively lower crime rates in states that have implemented reform.”