Americans in 2014 were 75 percent less likely to be victims of violent crime than in 1993, and 66 percent less likely to be victims of property crime. These figures, from a Justice Department survey, do not include homicide - but murder, too, is down significantly despite a recent uptick in some cities.
So if there are fewer and fewer victims, why is the Justice Department setting aside more and more money for their exclusive benefit? Between 2000 and 2014, the Crime Victims Fund's balance grew from zero to $11.8 billion, about equal to Nicaragua's entire economic outputlast year.
This incongruity is the subject for today's lesson in How Washington Really Works. Along the way, you'll also learn why the Republican Congress and President Obama slapped together their budget deal as they did.
Mass incarceration is our criminal justice issue du jour. In the tough-on-crime days of 30 years ago, however, "victims' rights" was all the rage.