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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs

Bureau of Justice Statistics

American Indians
and Crime
Average annual number of violent victimizations per 1,000
persons age 12 or older, 1992-96
The rate for American Indians (124 violent crimes per 1,000
American Indians) was more than twice the rate for the Nation
(50 per 1,000 persons)

Number of violent victimizations per
1,000 persons age 12 or older*
*The annual av erage murder rate is per 100,000 residents of all ages.

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20531
Janet Reno
Attorney General
Raymond C. Fisher
Associate Attorney General
Laurie Robinson
Assistant Attorney General
No11l Brennan
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D.
Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Office of Justice Programs
World Wide Web Homepage:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov
Bureau of Justice Statistics
World Wide Web Homepage:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

For information contact:
BJS Clearinghouse
1-800-732-3277

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics

American Indians
and Crime
By Lawrence A. Greenfeld
and Steven K. Smith
BJS Statisticians

February 1999, NCJ 173386

U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D.
Director

Lawrence A. Greenfeld and
Steven Smith, BJS statisticians,
wrote this report.
Devon Adams and Todd Minton
provided the statistical
review.
Maureen Henneberg, John
Scalia, Jodi Brown, and Tracy
Snell provided analytic
assistance and comment.
Norena Henry commented on
drafts of the report.
Melvinda Pete and Tom Hester
produced the report.
Marilyn Marbrook, assisted by
Yvonne Boston, prepared the
report for final publication.

This report and its data are
available on the Internet:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
The National Archive of
Criminal Justice Data also
offers the data for the National
Crime Victimization Survey,
the Survey of Inmates in
Local Jails, and the Surveys
of Inmates in State or Federal
Correctional Facilities:
http://www.ojp.icpsr.umich.edu/
NACJD/home.html

ii American Indians and Crime

Contents

Foreword
Highlights
Measuring criminal victimization
among American Indians
Types of violent crime
Sex, age, and location of residence
of victims of violent crime
Household income of victims
of violent crime
Victim-offender relationship
Race of offender
Intimate and family violence
Alcohol, drugs, and crime
Location of violent crime
Time of violent crime and
crime in the workplace
Weapons and self-protective
measures used in violent crime
Injury rates, hospitalization, and
financial loss
Child abuse and neglect
Reporting violent crime
to the police
Arrests of offenders and services
to victims
Race and ethnicity
in violent victimization
Murder among American Indians
Circumstances of murder
Murder victim-offender relationship
Race of murderers
Murder weapons
Arrests and convictions
of American Indians
Felony convictions in State courts
American Indians under
correctional supervision
Offenses charged in
U.S. district courts
American Indians and the death
penalty
American Indian tribal
criminal justice

Sources of data on American Indians
and crime
Tables for the graphical figures

iii
v
1
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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31
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38

Foreword
This report represents a compilation and
new analysis of data on the effects and
consequences of violent crime among
American Indians. The report uses data
from a wide variety of sources, including
statistical series maintained by the Bureau
of Justice Statistics (BJS), the FBI, and the
Bureau of the Census. Data are reported
from American Indian crime victims on how
they were affected by the victimization and
about who victimized them. The report
also includes the first BJS estimates of the
total number of American Indians under
the custody or supervision of the justice
system.
The findings reveal a disturbing picture of
American Indian involvement in crime as
both victims and offenders. The rate of
violent victimization estimated from
responses by American Indians is well
above that of other U.S. racial or ethnic
subgroups and is more than twice as high
as the national average. This disparity in
the rates of violence affecting American
Indians occurs across age groups, housing
locations, income groups, and sexes.
With respect to the offender, two findings
are perhaps most notable: American
Indians are more likely than people of
other races to experience violence at the
hands of someone of a different race, and
the criminal victimizer is more likely to
have consumed alcohol preceding the
offense. However, the victim/offender
relationships of American Indians parallel
that of all victims of violence.
On a given day, an estimated 1 in 25
American Indians age 18 or older is under
the jurisdiction of the criminal justice
system — 2.4 times the per capita rate of
whites and 9.3 times the per capita rate of
Asians. But black Americans, with a per
capita rate nearly double that of American
Indians, are more likely to be under the
care or custody of correctional authorities.

This report is the first step in a vigorous
BJS effort to document issues of crime
and justice affecting American Indians.
Statistical programs have been instituted
to learn more about tribal criminal justice
agencies, such as law enforcement and
confinement facilities, and these will
complement data available from other
BJS series covering the justice system.
This study was prepared as a resource to
respond to frequent inquiries. Since the
number of American Indians in our annual
samples are inadequate to provide definitive statistics, this report cumulates data
from over a 5-year period. I hope that this
report will serve as a foundation for other
reports and discussions about how best to
address the problem of crime affecting this
segment of our population.
BJS has undertaken improvements in the
National Crime Victimization Survey
(NCVS), designed to improve future data
collection on crime and its consequences
for American Indians. This year BJS
enhanced the NCVS to permit future
analyses to report statistics on victimizations occurring on tribal lands. In addition,
victim descriptions of the offender were
modified to permit greater precision in
future statistics about the victim’s perceptions of the offender’s race. Together,
these NCVS upgrades will result in much
greater detail about both locations of crime
incidents and perpetrators.
Valuable contributions to the report were
made by Norena Henry, Director of the
American Indian/Alaska Native Affairs in
the Office of Justice Programs, and
Melvinda Pete, a BJS university student
intern. In the development of the report,
they helped to provide context for the
statistical findings.
Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D.
Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics

American Indians and Crime iii

Highlights

Violent victimizations*
All races
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0
60
120
Number of violent victimizations
per 1,000 persons age 12 or older

• American Indians, experience per
capita rates of violence which are more
than twice those of the U.S. resident
population.

Murder*
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Number of murders per
100,000 persons, 1992-96

• The murder rate among American
Indians is 7 per 100,000, a rate similar
to that found among the general
population. The rate of murder among
blacks is more than 5 times that among
American Indians.

Age*
• Rates of violence in every age group
are higher among American Indians
than that of all races.

Age
12-17
18-24
25-34
35-44
45-54

American Indians
All races

55 or older

• Nearly a third of all American Indian
victims of violence are between ages 18
and 24. This group of American Indians
experienced the highest per capita rate
of violence of any racial group considered by age & about 1 violent crime for
every 4 persons of this age.

0
50 100 150 200 250
Rate of violent victimization
per 1,000 persons in each group

*

Average annual rate, 1992-96.

,

American Indians in this report include
Alaska Natives and Aleuts. Asians
include Hawaiian Natives and Pacific
Islanders.

American Indians and Crime v

Sex*
Sex of victims
Male
Female

American
Indians

All races
0
40
80
120
160
Number of violent victimizations
per 1,000 persons age 12 or older

• Rates of violent victimization for both
males and females are higher among
American Indians than for all races.
The rate of violent crime experienced
by American Indian women is nearly
50% higher than that reported by black
males.

Offender race*
Race of victims
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0% 25% 50% 75%
Percent of violent victimizations
that were interracial

• At least 70% of the violent victimizations experienced by American Indians
are committed by persons not of the
same race — a substantially higher rate
of interracial violence than experienced
by white or black victims.

Alcohol use by offender*
• American Indian victims of violence
were the most likely of all races of
victims to indicate that the offender
committed the offense while drinking.

American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0%
25%
50%
Percent of victims of violence
reporting offender drinking

Weapon use by offender
Nonlethal violence*
Firearm

American Indians
All races

0% 5% 10% 15%
Percent of
violent victimizations

• More than 10% of American Indian
nonlethal violent victimizations involved
a firearm. American Indian murder
victims were less likely to have been
murdered by a handgun than victims
of all races.

Lethal violence
Handgun

American Indians
All races

0%
20% 40% 60%
Percent of murders, 1976-96
*

Average annual rate or percentage, 1992-96.

vi American Indians and Crime

Crimes reported to police*
• American Indian victims of violence
reported the crime to the police at about
the average rate for all races.

American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0% 20% 40% 60%
Percent of violent victimizations
reported to police

Arrests of adults and youth
Under age 18
All ages

American
Indian
Black

• American Indian arrest rates for
violence among youth were about the
same as the rates among white youth
in 1996.

White
Asian
0
350 700 1,050 1,400
Number of arrests for Part I violent
crimes per 100,000 persons, 1996

• Violent crime arrest rates for American
Indian adults were similar to those for
youth. Among other racial groups,
arrest rates for adults are lower than
for youth.

Arrests for drug and alcohol
offenses
Arrests
American Indians
All races

Drug
Alcoholrelated
0

1,000 2,000 3,000
Number of arrests per
100,000 persons, 1997

• The 1997 arrest rate among American
Indians for alcohol-related offenses
(driving under the influence, liquor law
violations, and public drunkenness) was
more than double that found among all
races. Drug arrest rates for American
Indians were lower than average.

*

Average annual percentage, 1992-96.

American Indians and Crime vii

Under correctional supervision
or control
• An estimated 63,000 American Indians
are under the care, custody, or control
of the criminal justice system on an
average day — about 4% of the American Indian population age 18 or older.

U.S. total
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0

5,000

10,000

Total under correctional supervision
or control per 100,000 adults, 1997

• On average in 1997 about 2,000
American Indians per 100,000 adults
(persons age 18 or older) were serving
a sentence to probation, about half the
rate found among blacks.
• In 1997 about 16,000 American
Indians were held in local jails —
a rate of 1,083 per 100,000 adults, the
highest of any racial group.

In State or Federal prison
U.S. total
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0
1000 2000 3000
Number in prison
per 100,000 adults, 1997

• The rate of American Indians on
parole is similar to that of the general
population, about 300 per 100,000
adults.
• On a per capita basis, American
Indians had a rate of prison incarceration about 38% higher than the national
rate.

Federal convictions
American Indians convicted
in Federal district court,
fiscal year 1997
Total
Violent
Murder
Assault
Robbery
Rape
Other
Property
Drug
Other*

854

100%

81
153
22
168
23
178
93
134

9%
18
3
20
3
21
11
15

*Includes persons for whom the
offense was unknown.

viii American Indians and Crime

• American Indians accounted for 1.5%
of Federal case filings in U.S. district
courts in 1997, and half of these were
for violent offenses.
• 854 American Indians were convicted
in Federal court & 9% for murder and
20% for rape.

Measuring criminal victimization
among American Indians

provided on American Indians in the
criminal justice system.

American Indians have higher per
capita rates of violent criminal victimization than whites, blacks, or Asians
in the United States, according to data
from the National Crime Victimization
Survey (NCVS).

The NCVS collects information on the
Nation's experience with crime. It also
collects information on the race of the
victim and the race of the offender as
reported by the victim.

Population estimates from the Bureau
of the Census for July 1, 1998, indicate
that American Indians account for just
under 1% of the U.S. population:
All races
270,029,000
American Indian*
2,357,000
White
222,932,000
Black
34,370,000
Asian
10,370,000

100.0%
0.9
82.6
12.7
3.8

Two demographic factors distinguish
American Indians from other racial
groups: in 1998 the median age of the
American Indian population is nearly 8
years younger than the U.S. resident
population, and American Indians are
the most likely to report Hispanic
ethnicity.
Race
All races
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Median Percent
age
Hispanic
35.2 years 11.3%
27.4
15.2
36.3
12.4
29.9
5.0
31.2
5.8

This report presents data on the rates
and characteristics of violent crimes,
including murder, experienced by
American Indians. Information is also
*In this report the term American Indian refers
to Alaska Natives, Aleuts, and American
Indians. The term Asian encompasses Asians,
Hawaiian Natives, and Pacific Islanders.

The NCVS provides estimates of the
violent crimes of rape, sexual assault,
robbery, and assault for persons age
12 or older. During 1992-96 the NCVS
found that American Indians experienced an average of almost 150,000
violent crimes per year from among the
estimated 10.8 million violent crimes
occurring on average per year among
all racial groups. Victimization data for
1996 indicate that American Indians
accounted for about 1.4% of all violent
victimizations that year, about the
same percentage as in preceding
years.
American Indian tribes in the
United States, 1996
The indigenous peoples in the
United States belong to about 550
federally recognized tribes that
have a distinct history and culture
and often a separate language.
Tribe
Cherokee
Navajo
Chippewa
Sioux
Choctaw
Pueblo
Apache
All other tribes

Percent of
American Indians
16.4%
11.7
5.5
5.5
4.4
2.8
2.7
51.0

Source: U.S. Bureau of Census,
Statistical Abstract of the United
States, 1997, table 51, p. 51.

American Indians and Crime

1

Measuring criminal victimization
among American Indians

provided on American Indians in the
criminal justice system.

American Indians have higher per
capita rates of violent criminal victimization than whites, blacks, or Asians
in the United States, according to data
from the National Crime Victimization
Survey (NCVS).

The NCVS collects information on the
Nation's experience with crime. It also
collects information on the race of the
victim and the race of the offender as
reported by the victim.

Population estimates from the Bureau
of the Census for July 1, 1998, indicate
that American Indians account for just
under 1% of the U.S. population:
All races
270,029,000
American Indian*
2,357,000
White
222,932,000
Black
34,370,000
Asian
10,370,000

100.0%
0.9
82.6
12.7
3.8

Two demographic factors distinguish
American Indians from other racial
groups: in 1998 the median age of the
American Indian population is nearly 8
years younger than the U.S. resident
population, and American Indians are
the most likely to report Hispanic
ethnicity.
Race
All races
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Median Percent
age
Hispanic
35.2 years 11.3%
27.4
15.2
36.3
12.4
29.9
5.0
31.2
5.8

This report presents data on the rates
and characteristics of violent crimes,
including murder, experienced by
American Indians. Information is also
*In this report the term American Indian refers
to Alaska Natives, Aleuts, and American
Indians. The term Asian encompasses Asians,
Hawaiian Natives, and Pacific Islanders.

The NCVS provides estimates of the
violent crimes of rape, sexual assault,
robbery, and assault for persons age
12 or older. During 1992-96 the NCVS
found that American Indians experienced an average of almost 150,000
violent crimes per year from among the
estimated 10.8 million violent crimes
occurring on average per year among
all racial groups. Victimization data for
1996 indicate that American Indians
accounted for about 1.4% of all violent
victimizations that year, about the
same percentage as in preceding
years.
American Indian tribes in the
United States, 1996
The indigenous peoples in the
United States belong to about 550
federally recognized tribes that
have a distinct history and culture
and often a separate language.
Tribe
Cherokee
Navajo
Chippewa
Sioux
Choctaw
Pueblo
Apache
All other tribes

Percent of
American Indians
16.4%
11.7
5.5
5.5
4.4
2.8
2.7
51.0

Source: U.S. Bureau of Census,
Statistical Abstract of the United
States, 1997, table 51, p. 51.

American Indians and Crime

1

Table 1. Annual average violent victimization rates for persons
age 12 or older, by race, 1992-96
Annual average

All races
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Population
age 12 or older
213,660,000
1,204,014
180,543,825
25,587,158
6,325,003

Rate of violent victimiNumber of
zation per 1,000
violent
victimizations persons age 12 or older
10,784,826
50
149,614
124
8,880,083
49
1,570,386
61
184,743
29

Note: The NCVS estimates of the racial distribution of the resident population
age 12 or older for the period 1992-96 correspond closely to the estimates
reported by the Bureau of the Census in their P-25 series of population
estimates. The NCVS estimate shows that American Indians represented
0.6% of those interviewed while the P-25 estimate shows that American Indians
account for 0.8% of the resident population age 12 or older.

The average annual violent crime rate
among American Indians & 124 per
1,000 persons age 12 or older & is
about 2½ times the national rate
(table 1).
All races
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0
60
120
Number of violent victimizations
per 1,000 persons age 12 or older

The average annual violent crime
rate per 1,000 persons age 12 or
older during that period was 49 for
whites and 61 for blacks.
The aggravated assault rate among
American Indians (35 per 1,000) was
more than 3 times the national rate
(11 per 1,000) and twice that for
blacks. The rate of robbery experienced by American Indians (12 per
1,000) was similar to that of black
residents (13 per 1,000) (table 3).

American Indians are overrepresented among victims
of violence compared to their share of the general
population age 12 or older.

Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Annual average for persons
age 12 or older, 1992-96
NCVS estimates
Victims of
of population
violence
213.7 million
10.8 million
0.6%
1.4%
84.5
82.3
12.0
14.6
3.0
1.7

Table 2

2 American Indians and Crime

Table 3. Annual average rate of rape and sexual assault,
robbery, and assault, by race of victim, 1992-96

Violent victimizations
Rape/sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Simple assault

Number of victimizations per 1,000 persons
age 12 or older in each racial group
All
American
races
Indian
White
Black
Asian
50
124
49
61
29
2
7
2
3
1
6
12
5
13
7
11
35
10
16
6
31
70
32
30
15

For the 1992-96 period, the average
annual per capita rate of violent victimization translates into about 1 violent
crime for every 20 residents age 12 or
older. Substantial variation, however,
was evident by race. American
Indians experienced about 1 violent
crime for every 8 residents age 12 or
older compared to 1 violent victimization for every 16 black residents, 1 for
every 20 white residents, and 1 for
every 34 Asian residents.

The types of violent crimes experienced by American Indians were
generally similar to that found across
the Nation (table 4). The most
common type of violent crime experienced by American Indian victims was
simple assault (56%).
American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Number of simple assaults per
1,000 persons age 12 or older

Types of violent crime
The Nation's population of American
Indians age 12 or older experienced an
annual average of 126,400 simple and
aggravated assaults, 14,800 robberies,
and 8,400 rapes or sexual assaults
during 1992-96.

Among all the violent crimes reported
by American Indians, 28% were
aggravated assault, 10% robbery, and
6% rape/sexual assault. Asian and
black victims of violence were more
likely than American Indian or white
victims to have reported a robbery.

Table 4. Violent crime, by type of crime and race of victim, 1992-96

Type of crime
Total
Rape/sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Simple assault

All
races

Percent of violent victimizations
American
Indian
White
Black

Asian

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

4.3
11.7
21.8
62.2

5.6
9.9
28.4
56.1

4.3
9.7
21.0
65.0

4.4
21.5
25.7
48.5

4.1
24.6
21.0
50.2

8,880,083

1,570,386

184,743

Average annual
number of victimizations 10,784,826

149,614

American Indians and Crime

3

Sex, age, and location of residence of
victims of violent crime

Age
12-17

The violent crime rate among American Indian males was 153 per 1,000
males age 12 or older, more than
double that found among all males (60
per 1,000 age 12 or older) (table 5).
The violent crime rate for American
Indian females during this period was
98 per 1,000 females, a rate higher
than that found among white females
(40 per 1,000) or black females (56
per 1,000).
In 1995 the Bureau
of Census reported
2.2 million American Indians and
Alaska Natives
residing in the
United States,
about 1.94 million
of whom were
American Indians.
In 1990 over half of
American Indians
and Alaska Natives
lived in 10 States:
Oklahoma 252,000
California 242,000
Arizona
204,000
New
Mexico 134,000
Alaska
86,000
Washington 81,000
North
Carolina 80,000
Texas
66,000
New York
63,000
56,000
Michigan
Source: U.S. Bureau
of the Census, 1990
CP-2-1A, Social
and Economic
Characteristics,
American Indian and
Alaska Native Areas.

Among the
different age
groups, violent
crime rates were
highest (232 per
1,000 persons)
for American
Indians age 18
to 24. This

18-24
25-34
35-44
American Indians
All races

45-54
55 or older

0
50 100 150 200 250
Rate of violent victimization
per 1,000 persons in each group

violent crime rate was more than twice
that found among whites and blacks of
the same age.
About 40% of American Indians reside
in rural areas, compared to 18% of
whites and 8% of blacks. The violent
crime rate for American Indians was
highest for those in urban areas, 207
per 1,000, and lowest for those in rural

Table 5. Violent crime rates for persons 12 or older,
by age, sex, location of residence, and race, 1992-96
Annual average rates of violent victimization per 1,000
Victim
All
American
White
Black
Asian
characteristic races
Indian
Total

50

124

49

61

29

60
42

153
98

59
40

68
56

37
21

Age
12 to 17
18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 or older

116
100
61
44
27
9

171
232
145
124
43
14

118
101
61
43
27
8

115
105
66
51
30
11

60
41
34
24
15
5

Location
Urban
Suburban
Rural

65
48
37

207
138
89

63
48
37

75
52
33

29
29
30

Sex
Male
Female

4 American Indians and Crime

Table 6. Violent victimizations, by age, sex,
and race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
Victim
age/sex

All races

American
Indian

100.0%

100.0%

12-17
18-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55 or older

24.2%
23.6
23.6
17.0
7.5
4.1

Male
Female

57.4%
42.6

Total

Number of
violent victimizations 10,784,826

Rural

American Indians
All races

Suburban
Urban
0
50 100 150 200 250
Number of violent victimizations
per 1,000 persons age 12 or older

areas, 89 per 1,000. However, this
rural crime rate for American Indians is
more than double that found among
rural whites (37 per 1,000) or blacks
(33 per 1,000). The urban crime rate

American Indians with
incomes under $10,000
had the highest rate
of violent victimization,
182 per 1,000.
At every income category
American Indians had
a higher rate of violent
victimization than
persons of other races.

Black

Asian

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

20.4%
31.5
23.5
18.0
4.7
1.9

23.8%
23.4
23.6
17.1
7.8
4.3

26.8%
24.0
23.2
16.6
6.1
3.3

24.0%
21.7
26.3
18.3
7.3
2.4

58.9%
41.1

58.4%
41.6

50.5%
49.5

62.6%
37.4

149,614

White

8,880,083 1,570,386

184,743

for American Indians is more than 3
times that found among urban whites.
About half (52%) of the violent crimes
committed against American Indians
occurred among those age 12 to 24
years (table 6). Two percent of the
violent crimes committed against
American Indians were against the
elderly, age 55 or older.
Nearly 6 in 10 of the violent crimes
experienced by American Indians had
been committed against males, similar
to the national distribution.

Table 7. Violent victimization rates, by annual
household income and race, 1992-96
Number of victimizations per 1,000 persons
Household
All
income
races
Less than $10,000
73
$10,000 - 19,999
54
$20,000 - 29,999
48
$30,000 - 39,999
46
$40,000 or more
42

American
Indian
182
137
104
72
84

White
74
51
47
46
42

Black
71
70
56
54
50

Asian
30
30
32
22
22

American Indians and Crime

5

More than half the violent victimizations of American Indians
involved victims and offenders who had a prior relationship,
about the same percentage as for all violent victimizations.
Victim-offender relationship
American Indians

Intimate

All races
Family
Acquaintance
Stranger
0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Percent of violent victimizations
Note: Figure excludes those victimizations in which the victim
did not know the relationship to the offender or those in which
the number of offenders could not be specified.

Victim-offender relationship
Overall, strangers were reported to
have committed 46% of the violent
crimes against American Indians (table
8).
More than half of the violent victimizations of American Indians involved
offenders with whom the victim had a
prior relationship. About 1 in 6 violent
victimizations among American Indians

involved an offender who was an
intimate or family member to the
victim, about the same as for victims
of all races.
Victim-offender
relationship
Intimates
Family members
Acquaintances
Strangers

Percent of violence
All
American
races
Indians
11%
8%
5
7
34
38
51
46

Table 8. Violent victimizations of American Indians,
by victim-offender relationship and type of victimization, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
against American Indians
Type of
Intimates/
AcquaintStrangers
victimization
Total family members ances
All
100%
15%
38%
46%
Rape
100
25
43
32
Robbery
100
10
14
76
Aggravated assault
100
7
41
51
Simple assault
100
19
40
40

6 American Indians and Crime

Race of offender
Violent crime against white or black
victims is primarily intraracial. Among
white victims of violence, 69% of
offenders were white (table 9).
Likewise, black victims of violence
were most likely to have been victimized by a black offender (81%).

The majority (60%) of American Indian
victims of violent crime described the
offender as white, and nearly 30% of
the offenders were likely to have been
other American Indians. An estimated
10% of offenders were described as
black.
The less serious the offense, the
higher was the percentage of American Indian victims of violence describing the offender as “other race”
(table 10).

The NCVS classifies as “other race”
those offenders whom victims perceive
to be Asian or American Indian.
However, based
Table 9. Percent of violent victimizations, by race of victim
on self-reports of
and race of offender, 1992-96
offender race, it is
clear that American
Race of offender
Indians and Asians,
Race of victim
Total
Other
White
Black
when victimized by
All races
100%
11%
60%
29%
violence, were the
American Indian
100
29
60
10
White
100
11
69
20
most likely to report
Black
100
7
12
81
that the offender was Asian
100
32
39
29
from a different race. Note: Table excludes an estimated 420,793 victims of violence
(3.9% of all victims) who could not describe the offender’s race.

American Indian victims of rape/sexual assault most often reported that
the victimization involved an offender of a different race. About 9 in 10
American Indian victims of rape or sexual assault were estimated to have
had assailants who were white or black.
Two-thirds or more of the American Indian victims of robbery,
aggravated assault, and simple assault described the offender
as belonging to a different race.
Race of
offender
Total
White
Black
Other

All violent
victimizations
100%
63%
10
29

Percent of American Indian victims, 1992-96
Rape/sexual
Aggravated
assault
Robbery
assault
100%
100%
100%
82%
6
12

55%
24
21

61%
12
27

Simple
assault
100%
59%
8
34

Table 10

American Indians and Crime

7

Intimate and family violence
Intimate and family violence
Family v iolence
each account for about 9% American Indians
Intimate v iolence
of all violent victimizations
experienced by American
0%
5%
10% 15%
Indian victims, about the
Percent of violent victimizations
same percentage as found
among all victims of violence. (See Note on the graph below.)
Most striking among American Indian victims of violence is the substantial
difference in the racial composition of offenders in intimate violence incidents
when contrasted with family violence. Among violence victims of all races,
about 11% of intimate victims and 5% of family victims report the offender to
have been of a different race; however, among American Indian victims of
violence, 75% of the intimate victimizations and 25% of the family victimizations involved an offender of a different race.
Intimate and family violence involve a comparatively high level of alcohol and
drug use by offenders as perceived by victims — as is the case for Indian and
non-Indian victims. Indian victims of intimate and family violence, however,
are more likely than others to be injured and need hospital care.
Family v iolence
Interracial

Intimate v iolence

Alcohol-involved

Victims injured
0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

Percent of American Indian victimizations
Note: Intimate violence refers to victimizations involving current and former spouses,
boyfriends, and girlfriends. Family violence refers to victimizations involving spouses
and other relatives. Alcohol-involved incidents included only those incidents in which
the victim felt that he/she could determine whether the offender had been using drugs
or alcohol.

8 American Indians and Crime

Table 11. Violent crime, by the perceived drug or alcohol
use of the offender and by race of victim, 1992-96
Perceived drug or alcohol use by offender
Race of
victim
Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Total

Alcohol

Drugs

Both

Neither

100%

28%

8%

7%

57%

100
100
100
100

38
29
21
20

9
8
7
3

8
7
7
2

45
56
65
75

Note: Table excludes those respondents who were unable to report whether
they perceived the offender to have been using drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol, drugs, and crime
Alcohol and drug use was a factor in
more than half of violent crimes against
American Indians (table 11).
Substantial differences can be found
by race in the reports of victims of
violence of their perceptions of drug
and alcohol use by offenders. Among
those who could describe alcohol or
drug use by offenders, American Indian

victims of violence were the most likely
to report such perceived use by the
offender.
Overall, in 55% of American Indian
violent victimizations, the victim said
the offender was under the influence of
alcohol, drugs, or both. The offender’s
use of alcohol and/or drugs was
somewhat less likely in violent crimes
committed against whites (44%) or
blacks (35%).

Offenders’ use of alcohol and drugs reported by American Indian
victims of violence varied with the race of the offender: Intraracial
violence was more likely to involve a drinking offender while
interracial violence involved higher levels of offender drug use.
According to American Indian victims of violence, offender
use of alcohol was a factor in nearly two-thirds of the violent
victimizations in which the offender was neither white nor black.
Race of
Percent of victimizations in which the offender was perceived using&
victim/offender
Alcohol
Drugs
Both
Neither
American Indian/white
30%
10%
8%
52%
American Indian/black
35
13
3
49
American Indian/other
57
1
8
34
White/white
Black/black
Asian/other

36%
21
18

8%
8
2

1%
6
3

48%
66
77

Table 12

American Indians and Crime

9

An estimated 3 in 4
American Indian
victims of family
violence reported that
they perceived the
offender to have been
drinking at the time
of the offense. About
half the persons of all
races who were
victims of family
violence reported a
drinking offender.

Victim-offender relationship
American Indians
All races

Intimates
Family
Acquaintances
Strangers
0%

25%

50%

75%

100%

Percent of v iolent v ictimizations in which
the v ictims f elt certain they could
distinguish alcohol use by the of f ender
Note: Intimates include current and former spouses, boyfriends,
and girlfriends. Family includes all other family members.

Location of violent crime

victims of all races to have occurred
at or near a home.

Just over 40% of American Indian
victims of violence reported that the
incident occurred in or around their
own home or that of a friend, relative,
or neighbor (table 13). This is higher
than the approximately one-third of
violent victimizations reported by

Nineteen percent of violent victimizations against American Indians took
place in open areas, on the street or
on public transportation. Fewer than
1 in 10 violent crimes were reported
to have occurred at school.

Table 13. Violent incidents, by place of occurrence
and race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
Place of occurrence
Total
Home or lodging
Near own home
At, in, or near friend’s, relative’s,
or neighbor’s home
Commercial places
Parking lots/garages
School
Open areas, on street or public
transportation
Other

10 American Indians and Crime

All
American
races
Indian
100%
100%
14
12
11
17

White
100%
14
11

Black
100%
17
14

Asian
100%
12
9

9
13
8
13

14
13
9
7

9
14
8
13

10
9
6
11

7
19
9
12

22
10

19
9

21
10

28
6

24
9

Time of occurrence
Half of the violent crimes
committed against
American Indians
occurred after dark.
About 1 in 5 of the violent
victimizations took place
between midnight and
6:00 a.m.

Table 14. Violent crime, by time of occurrence
and race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
Time of violent
American
crime occurrence Indian
White
Black
Asian
Total
Light
Dark
Dawn

100%
44
52
5

100%
52
44
4

100%
51
46
4

100%
51
45
4

Total
6 am-12 noon
12 noon-6 pm
6 pm-midnight
Midnight-6 am

100%
11
30
40
19

100%
14
38
35
13

100%
13
38
38
11

100%
17
34
38
11

Crime in the workplace
On average nearly 2 million violent crimes occurred in the workplace
every year. The workplace accounted for about 1 in 5 violent crimes
experienced by the public.
Among American Indians about 14% of the violent victimizations were
reported to have occurred in the workplace.
About 1 in 4 employed American Indian victims of violence
said that the incident occurred in the workplace.
All
races
Unemployed
Employed
Percent reporting
workplace violence
Percent of all violent incidents
which occurred at the workplace

Percent of victims of violence
American
Indian
White
Black

Asian

40%
60

48%
52

37%
63

52%
48

41%
59

31%

26%

32%

25%

31%

19%

14%

20%

12%

18%

Table 15

American Indians and Crime

11

Table 16. Violent victimizations, by use of weapon
and race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
Offender use
of weapon

American
All races Indian

White

Black

Asian

No weapon used
Hands/feet only

74%
35

66%
33

76%
35

62%
34

68%
34

Weapon used
Firearm
Knife
Blunt object
Other weapon

26%
11
7
4
5

34%
13
7
7
6

24%
9
6
4
5

38%
19
9
4
5

33%
17
8
5
4

Weapons used in violent crime
In about a third of the violent crime
incidents American Indian victims were
faced with an offender who had a
weapon (table 16). About 13% of the
crimes involved an offender with a
firearm.

In almost 70% of the violent crime
incidents, the American Indian victim
resisted the offender, most frequently
through the use of physical force (table
17). American Indian victims used a
weapon in self-defense in less than 3%
of the violent incidents committed
against them.

Table 17. Self-protective measures employed by victims,
by race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of violent victimizations
Self-protective actions
taken during incident

American
Indian

White

Black

Asian

None

31%

28%

31%

37%

Confrontational actions
Used physical force toward offender
Weapons
No weapons
Chased, tried to catch/hold offender
Defended self/property
Scared or warned off offender

18%
3
16
2
16
4

14%
3
11
1
15
5

15%
4
12
1
16
5

9%
1
9
1
11
5

Nonconfrontational actions
Persuaded or appeased offender
Ran away, hid, locked door
Got help or gave alarm
Other

7%
12
4
7

9%
12
4
12

8%
11
4
10

11%
14
3
9

Note: Victims may have used more than one measure.

12 American Indians and Crime

Table 18. Violent victimizations in which the victims sustained
physical injury or received medical care, by race
Victim reported
physical injury

Percent of violent victimizations
American
All victims Indian
White
Black

Asian

Yes

25%

32%

24%

31%

25%

Type of Injury
Sexual assault
Shot/internal injuries
Broken bones/concussion
Bruises
Other injuries

2%
1
2
18
3

4%
3
5
18
2

2%
1
2
18
2

2%
3
2
19
4

3%
2
1
17
2

Treatment for injuries
Not treated
Treated
At hospital

57%
44
19

48%
53
32

59%
41
16

45%
55
26

55%
44
24

Note: The percent treated was calculated on those injured during the violent incident.
Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

Injury rates, hospitalization,
and financial loss
American Indian victims of a violent
crime were more likely to have been
injured than were white or Asian crime
victims. Nearly a third of the American
Indian violent crime victims were
injured during the incident (table 18).
About a quarter of all violence victims
of all races were injured during the
incident.

Seventy-one percent of American
Indian crime victims who were injured
during the incident and sought medical
treatment had medical insurance or
qualified for public medical benefits.
Injured American Indian victims of
violence who sought treatment for their
injuries were as likely as other racial
groups to have some form of coverage
for medical benefits.
Injured victims

As a result of their victimizations, an
estimated 18% of American Indian
victims of violence sustained bruises,
the most commonly reported injury.
Among those injured, about half
received some kind of medical treatment & a third at the hospital.

American Indians
White
Black
Asian

Percent with
coverage
71%
69
71
64

American Indians and Crime

13

Victims of violence were asked to
report the value of losses associated
with the violence they experienced.
These losses could include medical
expenses, property lost or damaged,
and pay lost by missing work.
About 1 in 4 American Indian victims
of violence suffered an economic loss
as a consequence of the victimization.
The average per-victim loss among
American Indian victims of violence
reporting a loss was $936 (table 19).

Table 19. Average dollar loss
per victim of violence, by race
of victim, 1992-96
Race of victim
of violence
All
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Average
dollar loss
$878
936
818
1,081
810

The total annual loss for American
Indians arising from violent criminal
victimization translates into more than
$35 million (table 20). The losses
reported by American Indian victims of
violence largely resulted from medical
expenses that accounted for more
than $21 million.
Losses to American Indian victims of
violence were distributed as follows:
Medical
Cash
Property
Loss
Repair
Replacement
Lost pay
From injury
Other causes

4.0
5.4
2.9
12.6
11.7

Table 20. Economic loss to American
Indian victims of violent crime, by type
of loss, 1992-96

Reason
for loss
Total
Medical expenses
Cash loss
Property
Loss
Repair
Replacement
Lost pay from &
Injury
Other causes

14 American Indians and Crime

60.4%
2.7

American Indian
victims of violence
Average loss Estimated total
annual loss
per victim
$936
$35,123,400
$2,407
223

$21,227,333
960,907

$155
152
191

$1,403,370
1,907,680
1,013,064

$641
754

$4,433,797
4,116,086

Child abuse and neglect
In the United States from 1992 to 1995, American Indians and Asians
were the only racial or ethnic groups to experience increases in the rate
of abuse or neglect of children under age 15, as measured by incidents
recorded by child protective service agencies.
The increase in reported incidents involving American Indian children
was more than 3 times as large as that for Asian children. The per capita
rate for American Indian children was 7 times that of Asian children.

All children
American Indian
White
Black
Asian
Hispanic

Number of victims per 100,000 children, age 14 or younger
1992
1995
Percent change
1,866
1,724
-8%
2,830
3,343
18
1,628
1,520
-7
3,560
3,323
-7
454
479
6
1,486
1,254
-16

Note: Rates were calculated on the number of children age 14 or younger
because they account for at least 80% of the victims of child abuse and neglect.

Each year the National Child Abuse
and Neglect Data System of the
Department of Health and Human
Services obtains from child protective
service agencies nationwide the
number of reports of alleged maltreatment of children. Published data for
1995 indicate that about 1 million
children were substantiated to have
been victims of neglect, physical
abuse, sexual abuse, emotional
maltreatment, medical neglect, or
other forms of verified maltreatment.

1992
1993
1994
1995

Percent
Number of victims American
of maltreatment* Indian
1,044,480
1.5%
966,163
1.6
1,011,595
1.8
1,000,502
1.9

*Reported by child protective agencies.
Data may contain duplicate counts of
incidents.
Source: National Child Abuse and
Neglect Data System

Non-Hispanic American Indians
accounted for just under 2% of the
victims of child abuse/neglect in
reports collected nationwide in 1995.
There is evidence that their share has
been increasing. Non-Hispanic
American Indians, who accounted for
just under 1% of the population age
14 or younger, were overrepresented
twofold as victims of child abuse.
On a per capita basis, 1995 data
indicate about 1 substantiated report
of a child victim of abuse or neglect
for every 30 American Indian children
age 14 or younger.
Nationwide, the 1995 rates translate
into about 1 child victim of maltreatment known to a child protective
services agency for every &
& 58 children of any race
& 66 white children
& 30 black children
& 209 Asian children
& 80 Hispanic children

Table 21

American Indians and Crime

15

American Indians differ little from other racial groups
in their reporting of violent crime to the police
or in the likelihood that the victim knows of the arrest of the offender.

American Indian
White
Black
Asian

Victims
149,600
8,880,100
1,570,400
184,700

Average annual number
of victimizations
10,785,800
Subsequent arrest
Reported to of offender
the police
(reported offenses only)
45%
28%
41
28
50
22
39
19

Table 22

Reporting violent crime
to the police

Among victims not reporting the crime
to the police, the reasons that persons
of different racial backgrounds had for
Forty-five percent of American Indian
not reporting were also similar. Nearly
victims of violent crime reported the
half of both American Indians not
crime to the police (table 22). This
reporting the violent crime to the police
level of crime reporting was similar to
and victims of all races who did not
that found among white (41%) and
report the violence to the police said
black (50%) violent crime victims.
that they considered the matter private
or too minor to bother the
Table 23. Reasons why victims of violence did
police (table 23).
not report the victimization to the police,
by race of victim, 1992-96
Percent of victims of
violence not reporting the
victimization to the police
Reason for not
All
American
reporting to the police
races
Indians
Total
100%
100%
Personal matter
21
26
Too unimportant
24
24
Police of limited assistance
11
14
Reported to other authority
13
8
Fear of or worry about offender
7
6
Too busy
3
2
Other reasons
22
20

16 American Indians and Crime

For those violent crimes
reported to the police
victims said that police
made an arrest in about
a quarter of the cases
(table 24).
Twelve percent of the
victims who reported their
violent crime to the police
received victim services
assistance.

Arrests of offenders and services to victims
Table 24. Violent victimizations reported to the police,
by whether an arrest was made and whether victim
services were provided, by race of victim, 1992-96

All
races

Percent of violent victimizations
reported to the police
American
Indian
White
Black
Asian

Was an arrest made?
Yes
No
Do not know

27%
66
7

27%
65
8

28%
65
7

22%
70
8

19%
71
11

Victim services assistance?
Yes

10%

12%

10%

9%

9%

Note: The percent reporting an arrest and the percent reporting that they
had received assistance from a victim services agency were based on
those victimizations reported to the police.

There were no differences between victims of violence who were
American Indians and victims of all races in the percentage having
contacts with the prosecutor’s office or a victim services agency.
For all victims such contacts were higher in those cases
in which an arrest was known to have occurred.
Average annual number of violent
victimizations reported to the police
4,525,200

|

Resulted in &
Arrests
No arrests
Victims of all races
Subsequent contact with &
Prosecutor’s office
Victim services agency

1,228,400

American Indian victims
Subsequent contact with &
Prosecutor’s office
Victim services agency

19,000

23%
17

25%
21

3,296,800
3%
7
49,000
3%
8

American Indians and Crime

17

Average annual rates of violent victimization,
by race and ethnicity, 1992-96
Number of violent victimizations,
per 1,000, age 12 or older
All ethnicities Hispanic
Non-Hispanic
All races
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

50
124
49
61
29

58
243
56
85
63

50
116
48
61
28

Note: The table excludes respondents who did not provide
complete data on race and ethnicity.

Race and ethnicity in violent victimization
The NCVS asks respondents about both race and ethnicity.
For 1992-96 about 9% of all participants, or about 18.5 million
residents age 12 or older in an average year, were of Hispanic
origin and belonged to one of the four primary racial groups
sampled in the survey— white, black, American Indian, or Asian.
Hispanic residents were estimated to consist of 17.8 million
whites, 0.5 million blacks, about 0.1 million Asians,
and a slightly smaller number of American Indians.
Across each racial group, Hispanic residents were found to have
higher average per capita rates of violent victimization. Among all
racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic Asians were found to have
the lowest estimated rates of violent victimization, about 1 violent
crime for every 36 residents. By contrast, American Indian
residents who also identified themselves as Hispanic reported a
rate of violent victimization that translated into about 1 violent
crime for every 4 residents.
• While about 7% of all American Indian participants in the NCVS
reported they were also of Hispanic ethnicity, nearly 14% of those
American Indians victimized by violence were of Hispanic origin.
• Among American Indians who also described themselves
as Hispanic, the rate of violent victimization was 4 times
the rate found among all Hispanics and twice the rate
found among non-Hispanic American Indians.
Table 25

18 American Indians and Crime

Annual number of murders of American Indians, 1976-96
Number of American Indian
murder v ictims
200
150
100
50
0
1976

1980

1984

Murder among American Indians
Each year about 150 American Indians
become murder victims. Little year-toyear variation occurred in the number
of American Indian murder victims, but
recent years were below the peak
reached in 1986.
American Indians were 0.7% of all
murder victims nationwide, about the
same as their share of the population
(table 26). From 1976 to 1996 an
estimated 3,100 American Indians
were murdered. Because of variations
in reporting by law enforcement
agencies over time, detail on these
murder victims is available for 2,826
American Indian murder victims or
about 92% of the total estimated
number of victims.
Over the 21-year period, just under
14% of the murders of American
Indians occurred in California, proportional to California’s share of the
American Indian population. Alaska,
by contrast, accounts for about 10%
of American Indian murder victims
over the period but just over 4% of the
American Indian population

1988

1992

1996

nationwide. In Alaska in 1976-96,
American Indians and Alaska Natives
composed about 16% of the population but 28% of that State’s murder
victims. The 10 States in which about
63% of the American Indian population
reside have accounted for about 75%
of the murders.

Rates of murder
As observed across the other racial
groups, the number of murders per
capita among American Indians has
been declining. The rate of murder
among American Indians in 1996 was
below the national average for ages
under age 40 (table 27). For ages 40
or older, murder rates are close to the
national average.
For persons age 24 or younger in
1996, American Indian rates of murder
closely paralleled the rates among
whites and Asians and were well below
the rates among black victims. For
those age 25 to 29, the 37% decline in
the rate of murder among American
Indians reflects the largest decline of
any racial group.

American Indians and Crime

19

Table 26. Murders of American Indians, as a percent of all
American Indians and of all murder victims, by State, 1976-96
States with the
largest number of
American Indian
murder victims
U.S. total
California
Oklahoma
Alaska
North Carolina
Arizona
Washington
Minnesota
New Mexico
New York
Oregon
All other States

Number
Percent of &
of murders
All murders
The American
of American of American
Indian
Indians
Indians
population
2,826
100.0%
100.0%
386
13.7
13.7
326
11.5
11.9
268
9.5
4.2
245
8.7
3.9
233
8.2
10.8
191
6.8
4.4
164
5.8
2.5
160
5.7
6.7
75
2.7
3.1
71
2.5
2.0
707
25.0
36.8

American Indians as a
percent of &
All
Total
murder
resident
victims
population
0.7%
0.8%
0.6
1.0
6.2
8.1
28.0
15.5
2.0
1.2
4.1
5.8
4.2
1.8
7.4
1.2
7.5
8.9
0.2
0.4
2.7
1.4
0.3
0.4

Note: Supplementary Homicide Data are for 1976-96.
Population data are for 1994.

Table 27. Number of murders per 100,000 population,
by race and age, 1991 and 1996
Age of murder victims
17 or
younger

18-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-49

Murder rate, 1996
Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

7.9
4.0
4.9
24.3
4.3

19.6
9.1
9.5
76.6
9.0

14.5
11.2
7.4
58.2
6.2

10.8
10.8
6.2
40.8
5.3

9.2
8.8
5.8
32.7
3.4

6.6
7.2
4.3
24.1
3.2

4.4
5.7
3.3
14.0
3.3

Murder rate, 1991
Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

9.3
5.0
5.4
30.6
4.7

23.9
9.7
11.6
97.4
9.9

18.6
17.8
9.8
75.0
9.5

15.0
14.1
8.5
60.0
7.7

12.0
11.7
7.2
46.3
7.9

8.7
7.0
5.6
34.1
6.2

5.7
5.1
4.0
21.1
4.9

-18.0%
-6.2
-18.1
-21.4
-9.1

-22.0%
-37.1
-24.5
-22.4
-34.7

-28.0%
-23.4
-27.1
-32.0
-31.2

-23.3%
-24.8
-19.4
-29.4
-57.0

-24.1%
2.8
-22.4
-29.4
-48.9

Percent change, 1991-96
Total
-15.1%
American Indian*
-20.0
White
-9.3
Black
-20.6
Asian
-8.5

*Increases occurred from 4 additional murders of persons age 40 to 49
and 4 additional murders of persons age 50 or older. Denominators
for the oldest group included persons age 50 to 74 years.

20 American Indians and Crime

50
or older

-23.6%
12.7
-18.7
-33.6
-33.2

Table 28. Circumstances of murder, by race, 1976-96
Murders
Murders with known
circumstances
Total

American
All races Indian
100%
100%

Violent felony
Other felony offenses
Suspected felony
Brawl under the influence
of alcohol/drugs
Arguments
Other circumstances
Number

14
10
4

White
100%

Black
100%

Asian
100%

16
10
4

11
11
3

27
8
3

6
38
27
181,043

4
50
21
156,203

11
5
4

5
43
24
344,928

13
45
22
2,515

2
35
25
4,545

Note: Table excludes an estimated 101,446 murder victims for whom the
circumstances were not known.
Source: FBI, Supplemental Homicide Reports, 1976-96.

Circumstances of murder
Supplemental data regarding murders
with known circumstances indicate that
American Indian murder victims were
more likely to have been killed during a
brawl involving alcohol or drugs (13%)

than white (6%), black (4%), or Asian
(2%) murder victims (table 28). Fortyfive percent of American Indian murder
victims were killed during an argument,
and 11% were killed during the
commission of a violent felony.

American Indian and Asian murder victims, whether
victims of violent felony murder or murders arising from
arguments, were more likely than whites or blacks to have
been victimized by an offender of a different race.
American Indian
White
Argument murders
Violent f elony murders

Black
Asian
0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

Percent of murder victims killed by
someone of a dif f erent race

American Indians and Crime

21

Table 29. Murders, by victim-offender relationship and race, 1976-96
Percent of murder

Total
Victim/offender had
prior relationship
Victim/offender
were strangers
Same race
Different races
Number of murder victims

Victims of American
all races
Indian
100.0%
100.0%

White
100.0%

Black
100.0%

Asian
100.0%

81.2

83.9

78.4

84.5

70.9

18.8
13.8
5.0
281,603

16.1
3.9
12.2
2,242

21.6
14.4
7.1
147,417

15.5
13.4
2.1
128,551

29.1
8.2
20.9
3,393

Note: Table excludes victims with unknown relationship
to offender and victims and offenders of unspecified races.

Victim-offender relationship
in murder cases

offender relations in American Indian
murder cases were similar to those
found among all murders.

In American Indian murder cases in
which the victim offender-relationship
was known, strangers accounted for
approximately 16% of the murders
(table 29). Acquaintances accounted
for about half the murders. Victim-

American Indian and Asian murder
victims were more likely than white or
black murder victims to have been
killed by a stranger of a different race.

Table 30. Murders, by race of offender and victim, 1976-96
Race of murder victim
Race of
offender
Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian
Number

All
races
100%

American
Indian
100%

White
100%

Black
100%

Asian
100%

0.8%
47.6
50.4
1.0
313,032

56.9%
32.5
9.7
0.7
2,381

0.6%
85.6
13.3
0.5
162,609

0.1%
5.8
94.0
0.1
143,854

0.4%
22.1
18.1
59.2
3,688

Note: Table excludes cases in which the race of the victim
or offender is unknown.
Source: Supplemental Homicide Data are for the period 1976-96.
Population data are for 1994.

Race of murderers
In most murder cases involving a white
or black victim, the offender was of the
same race as the victim (table 30).
22 American Indians and Crime

However, when the races of the
offender and victim were known, more
than 40% of American Indian murder
victims were killed by an offender who
was not an American Indian; in 33% of
the cases the offender was white.

Compared to all murder victims, American Indian
murder victims were substantially less likely to have
been killed by a handgun but more likely to have been
killed by a rifle or shotgun or stabbed.
Handgun
Rifle/shotgun
Other firearm
Knife
Blunt object
Personal weapon*
American Indian murder v ictims
All murder v ictims

All other weapons
0%

10%

20%
30%
40%
Percent of murder victims

50%

60%

*Includes hands and f eet.
Note: Excludes cases in which type of weapon is unknown.

Murder weapons
American Indian murder victims were
substantially less likely (28% to 50%)
than all murder victims to have been
killed by a handgun. Almost 30% of
American Indian murder victims were
killed by a knife, compared to less
than 20% of all murders.

American Indians and Crime

23

Approximately 17% of American
Indians arrested for these violent
offenses are under age 18, nearly the
same percentage found among arrestees for all violent crimes in 1996. The
1996 arrest rates for Part I violent
crimes among American Indian youth
were about the same as for white
youth and were about a fifth of those
of black youth.

Arrests and convictions
of American Indians
Arrest data for 1996, provided by local
law enforcement agencies, indicate
that American Indians account for
0.9% of the arrests for Part I violent
crimes (murder and nonnegligent
manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery,
and aggravated assault) & an
estimated 6,600 arrests for these
offenses.

Unlike the pattern of violent crime arrest rates for other racial
groups & higher for youth than for the whole population &
among American Indians the arrest rates for those under
age 18 did not vary from the overall rate.

All ages

All races

Y outh

American Indian
Black
White
Asian
0

200

400

600

800

1000 1200 1400

Number of arrestees for Part I
v iolent crimes per 100,000 population
Note: Arrest rates f or y outh were based on the estimated
number of arrests of persons under the age of 18
and calculated on the number of residents age 10-17.
Source: FBI, Crime in the United States, 1996.

24 American Indians and Crime

American Indians have a rate of arrest for alcohol violations
(DUI, liquor law violations, and public drunkenness) more
than double the national rate. Arrests of American Indians
under age 18 for alcohol-related violations are also twice
the national average.
Number of arrests per 100,000 population
All ages
Youth
All
races
Total violent
Murder
Rape
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Total property

American
Indian

All
races

American
Indian

275

291

445

294

7
13
59
197

7
16
37
231

9
19
165
252

5
14
67
208

1,039

1,369

2,783

3,026

Total alcohol violations
DUI
Liquor laws
Drunkenness

1,079
2,545
649
1,341
553
1,069
61
98
255
727
510
1,108
271
749
78
135
Note: Arrest rate is the number of arrests per 100,000 resident population.
Arrest rates for youth were based upon the estimated number of arrests of
persons under the age of 18. The youth arrest rate was calculated on the
number of residents age 10-17.

Table 31

Felony convictions in State courts
On average there are annually about
900,000 felony convictions in State
courts. American Indians account for
just over ½ of 1% of felony convictions across the Nation (table 32).
In 1996 State and local felony courts
throughout the United States
convicted an estimated 1 million
defendants. Among these were an
estimated 7,000 felony convictions of
American Indians, a rate of approximately 1 felony conviction for every
200 American Indians age 18 or
older. By contrast in 1996 whites
experienced a felony conviction rate
of about 1 conviction per 300 adults;
among blacks the rate of felony

Table 32. Annual average number
of felony convictions in State courts,
by race, 1990-96
Felony convictions
Average
annual number
Percent
Total
American Indian
White
Black
Asian

898,290
4,980
468,944
418,124
6,243

100%
0.6
52.2
46.6
0.7

Note: The annual average estimates are based
on the National Judicial Reporting Program,
1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996.

conviction was 1 for every 51 adults; and
Asians reflected the lowest rate, about 1
felony conviction for every 600 Asian
residents age 18 or older.

American Indians and Crime

25

Table 33. Correctional population, by status and race, 1997
Percent of correctional populations
Number
Number of offenders
Total corrections
Probation
Local jails
State prisons
Federal prisons
Parole

5,751,277
3,261,888
557,974
1,131,581
112,973
685,033

Offenders per 100,000
resident population
age 18 or older
Total corrections
Probation
Local jails
State prisons
Federal prisons
Parole

American Indians under
correctional supervision
American Indians accounted for
about 1% of the more than 5.7
million adults under correctional
care, custody, or control on a
single day in 1997 (table 33). The
estimated 62,600 American
Indians with a correctional status
accounted for just over 4% of the
American Indian adult population
(not shown in a table).

26 American Indians and Crime

All
races

American
Indian
White

100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

2,907
1,650
282
572
57
346

1.1%
0.9
2.9
1.0
1.5
0.6

4,194
1,965
1,083
757
113
275

58.8%
66.5
53.1
43.1
60.1
52.6

2,036
1,306
178
294
41
217

Black Asian
39.6%
32.3
42.8
55.4
37.0
46.4

0.5%
0.4
1.0
0.5
1.5
0.5

9,863
4,561
1,031
2,714
181
1,376

414
183
78
80
24
48

By comparison, an estimated 2%
of white adults, 10% of black
adults, and less than a half of 1%
of Asian adults were under
correctional supervision (not
shown in a table).
In 1997, 54% of the American
Indians under correctional supervision were in the community &
on probation (47%) or parole
(7%). Twenty-five percent were
held in local jails, 18% in State
prisons, and 3% in Federal
prisons.

In 1997 just under half of the American Indian offenders
under the care, custody, or control of Federal, State,
or local correctional authorities were confined in prisons or jails.
By contrast, less than a third of correctional populations nationwide were confined in prisons or jails.
American Indian correctional population
62,659
Local jails (26%)
Probation (47%)
State prisons (18%)
Parole (7%)

Federal prisons (3%)

Nationwide correctional population
5,751,277
Local jails (10%)
State prisons (20%)
Probation (57%)

Federal prisons (2%)
Parole (12%)

American Indians and Crime

27

Table 34. American Indian jail inmates, by offense, 1996
Unconvicted jail
inmates
All
American
races
Indians
Total

Convicted jail
inmates
All
American
races
Indians

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Violent
Homicide
Sexual assault
Robbery
Assault
Other violent

36.7%
6.6
3.8
8.8
15.4
2.1

26.6%
2.7
-2.2
15.7
5.9

21.7%
1.5
3.0
5.5
10.0
1.7

21.9%
0.2
7.1
7.9
10.1
1.6

Property
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Other property

25.6%
7.7
5.6
3.3
9.0

27.4%
11.5
2.3
7.3
6.3

28.6%
8.0
9.5
2.3
8.8

27.0%
8.1
6.2
4.7
7.9

Drugs

20.2%

6.5%

23.7%

15.8%

Public-order
Weapons
DWI
Other public-order

17.4%
2.2
3.6
11.6

39.5%
8.2
13.8
17.5

25.6%
2.4
9.6
13.6

35.3%
0.7
13.1
21.5

165,733

4,241

314,867

9,824

Number
--Too small to estimate.

American Indians comprised just over
1% of the offenders on probation or
parole or in State or Federal prisons
but an estimated 2.9% of persons in
local jails nationwide. American
Indians accounted for 2.5% of those
detained in local jails who had not
been convicted of crimes and 3% of
the convicted offenders in jail serving
shorter sentences or awaiting transfer
to other institutions.

28 American Indians and Crime

Compared to jail inmates of all races,
when the statuses of conviction are
combined, American Indians were less
likely to have been jailed for a violent
or drug offense (table 34). However,
consistent with their higher arrest rates
for driving under the influence of
alcohol, a substantial percentage of
American Indians reported that they
were in jail charged with or convicted
of an offense involving driving while
intoxicated (DWI). American Indians
accounted for an estimated 10% of
unconvicted jail inmates charged with
DWI and just over 4% of convicted
DWI offenders in local jails.

About half of convicted American Indian inmates
in local jails had been consuming alcoholic
beverages at the time of the offense for which they
had been convicted. An estimated 7 in 10
American Indians in local jails convicted of a violent
crime had been drinking when they committed
the offense.
Ty pe of conv iction of f ense
All offenses
Violent
Property
American Indian jail inmates
All conv icted jail inmates

Drug
Public-order
0%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
Percent of convicted inmates reporting
drinking at the time of the of f ense

Blood alcohol concentration calculated from
inmates’ reports of drinking
at the time of their offense
Jail
Prison
All races
0.20
0.27
American Indian 0.23
0.32
White
0.20
0.28
Black
0.18
0.26
Asian
0.20
0.20
Note: Blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
is the number of grams of alcohol per
deciliter of blood.

Nearly 4 in 10 American Indian
inmates held in local jails had been
charged with a public-order
offense & most commonly driving
while intoxicated.
Sixteen percent of convicted
American Indians serving time in
local jails had been convicted of
a drug offense.

American Indians and Crime

29

In fiscal year 1996 U.S. attorneys investigated 1,927 suspects
for offenses committed in Indian country.
&
Distribution of Indian country suspects investigated, by Federal court district&

Number of investigations
None
Fewer than 50
50 to 99
100 or more

Table 35. Types of offenses charged in cases
filed in U.S. district courts, 1997

Type of offense
Total
Violent
Fraud
Property
Drugs
Regulatory
Other
Number

Federal district court filings, 1997
American Indian
All cases
cases
100.0%
100.0%
6.7
47.5
18.3
9.1
5.2
12.9
39.5
14.7
3.3
2.0
27.0
13.8
60,403

1,126

American Indian
youth detained
In September 1994,
American Indians were
75 of the 124 juvenile
delinquents confined
under Federal jurisdiction
& about 60% of such
juveniles.

American Indians in the Federal justice system
The BJS Special Report
Juvenile Delinquents in
In 1997 U.S. attorneys filed cases in Federal
the Federal Criminal
district court against 1,126 American Indians.
Justice
System, February
Almost half of these cases involved a violent crime.
1997, NCJ 163066,
describes the circumThe majority of cases were filed in U.S. district
stances of youth in the
courts in South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico,
Federal system.
and Montana.

30 American Indians and Crime

American Indians and the death penalty
All
American
Over the period 1973-97,
races
Indians
6,139 persons were senSentenced to death, 1973-97
6,139
52
tenced to death in the
Executions, 1976-97
432
3
United States. During the
Percent executed
7.0%
5.8%
same years 52 American
Removed from death row by
Indians were sentenced to
means other than execution
2,372
21
death, 0.8% of the total.
other
means
Percent
removed
by
38.6%
40.4%
Between 1976 and 1997 a
Remaining under sentence
total of 432 persons were
of death, 1997
3,335
28
executed, including 3
Percent remaining, 1997
54.3% 53.8%
American Indians (0.7%
of those executed). This
sentenced to death between 1973
translates into a rate of execution
and 1997 still remained under a
for those sentenced to death of
death sentence at the close of 1997.
about 7 per 100 persons receiving
a death sentence and for American
About half of all death sentences
Indians, about 5.8 per 100.
imposed upon American Indians
were in North Carolina (11) and OklaAmong the 6,139 persons sentenced
homa (14). Oklahoma (8) had the
to death, 3,335 were still under a
largest number of American Indians
death sentence at the end of 1997&
currently under a sentence to death.
54.3% of those entering death row
No Federal death sentences were
over the period. For American
imposed on American Indians during
Indians, 28 of the 52 (53.8%)
the period 1973-97.

State
Alabama
Arizona
California
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Maryland
Montana
Nebraska
New Mexico
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
U.S. total

Total
sentenced to
death 1973-97
1
5
5
1
1

Executed

Died from
other causes

Under sentence
of death
12/31/97
4
4

1
1

1
1
1
3
2
1
11
1
14
1

Sentence
overturned
or commuted
1
1
1

1
1
1
2
1
1
7
1

1
1
1

1

52

3

1

4

1
1
4
1
8
1
1
1

1

20

28

Table 36

American Indians and Crime

31

American Indian tribal criminal
justice
The BJS Census of State and Local
Law Enforcement Agencies, 1996
identified 135 tribal law enforcement
agencies with a total of 1,731 full-time
sworn officers. The Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA), which also has law
enforcement responsibility for selected
tribal jurisdictions, reported 339 fulltime officers authorized to make arrests
and carry firearms.

In addition to law enforcement
services, American Indian tribes and
the BIA operate jails in tribal areas.*
Data provided by BIA indicate that
these facilities employed 659 persons
and had an authorized capacity to
house just over 2,000 adults and
juveniles (table 37).
*BJS has conducted a survey of tribal confinement facilities. Analysis of survey responses will
be reported in Survey of Jails in Indian Country,
1998, forthcoming, NCJ 173410.

Table 37. Tribal jail capacity and jail staff, by State and tribe, 1998
Capacity
State
Alaska
Arizona

California
Colorado
Idaho
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Montana

Nebraska

Tribe
Metlakatla Indian Community
Navajo Nation
Colorado River Indian Tribes
Fort Mohave Indian Tribe
White Mountain Apache Tribe
Hopi Tribe
Tohono O'Odham Nation
Gila River Indian Community
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian
Community
San Carlos Apache Tribe
Hualapai, Havasupai, Prescott
Apache, and Tonto Apache
Supai Tribe
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Chehalis Indian Tribe
Southern Ute Tribe
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Shoshone-Bannock Tribe
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe
Boise Forte Tribe
Red Lake Chippewa Tribe
Mississippi Band of Choctaw
Indians
Blackfeet Tribe
Crow Tribe
Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribe
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe
Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Chippewa Cree Tribe
Confederated Tribes of Salish and
Kootenai
Omaha Tribe

32 American Indians and Crime

Adult
8
208
30
1
31
68
33
73

Juvenile
36
8
1
17
28
16
32

Staff
4
96
12
4
22
8
31
40

70
38

33

18
14

36
4
1
2
4
14
24
2
8
18

8

7
2
6
1
5
5
4
9

32
34
12
8
21
10
22

8
34
2
21
3
4

17
12
5
5
19
3
3

16
20

4
12

11
9

1

2
4
6
1
4

13

Table 37. Continued.
Capacity
State
Nevada

New Mexico

North Dakota

Oklahoma
Oregon

South Dakota

Utah
Washington

Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

Tribe
Battle Mountain, Duckwater, Ely,
Goshute, South Fork, Elko Band,
and Wells Band
Jicarilla Apache Tribe
Laguna Pueblo Tribe
Mescalero Apache Tribe
Taos Pueblo
Ramah Navajo
Isleta Pueblo
Zuni Pueblo
Navajo Nation
Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe
Three Affiliated Tribes
Sac and Fox Nation
Confederated Tribes of Warm
Springs
BIA Law Enforcement Services
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe
Uintah and Ouray Tribe
Olympic Peninsula Tribe
Puget Sound Tribe
Kalispel and Spokane Tribe
Confederated Tribes of Yakama
Nation
Menominee Tribe
Shoshone and Arapaho Tribe

Adult

28
0
12
24
8
10
6
22
41
25
42
22
8

Juvenile

8
4

12
14
8
8
8
69

32
53
10
14
52
48
16
24
14
7
8

12
4
10
4
2
32
16
4
4
1

Staff

5
0
5
7
5
5
6
13
21
5
8
8
6
23
13
24
2
4
31
12
5
5
8
7
4

30
32
26

17
10
4

10
16
6

1,462

536

649

Note: Data were supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the
Interior. Data are for April 1998. Staff of the facilities includes juvenile and adult
detention officers and dispatchers.

American Indians and Crime

33

Sources of data on American
Indians and crime
One of the challenges facing all
Federal statistical agencies is that
representative statistical data about
American Indians are difficult to
acquire and use. This is true for a
number of reasons with respect to
crime data:
Sampling & Most Federal surveys
utilize nationally representative
samples of persons or households,
thus limiting the capability to describe
small population subgroups in detail.
(American Indians comprise under 1%
of the U.S. population.) In addition,
sampling procedures, relying upon
selection of respondents within
clustered geographical sampling units,
may by chance miss those areas
where concentrations of residences of
small subgroups (such as American
Indians) may be located. Finally, the
fluidity of population movement
between tribal and nontribal areas for
both Indian and non-Indian populations
makes it difficult to systematically
describe those living in these areas.
The 1990 Census revealed, for
example, that nearly half the population
of reservation and trust lands was
non-Indian.
The design of national surveys such as
the NCVS does not permit calculating
separate statistics for each American
Indian tribe.
Coverage of data & Statistical coverage of incidents or cases in Indian
country utilizing law enforcement,
judicial, or corrections data is difficult to
quantify because Federal, State, and

34 American Indians and Crime

local authorities may have overlapping
jurisdiction on tribal lands. Data about
some crimes are collected by the
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in Indian
country while other crimes by or
against American Indians are recorded
by local sheriffs or police. Arrest data
are profoundly limited by the lack of
information on arrest coverage among
tribal and BIA law enforcement
agencies.
Data on trends & Crime data relying
upon either samples of population or
incident and case-level data from
administrative records suffers from the
lack of repetitive collection so that
change rates and trends can be
analyzed. Much data on the employment, education, and quality of life
measures of American Indians are only
available from periodic collections and
are often of only limited value for
comparisons over time. Often many
years have passed since they were last
conducted. Agencies do not generally
use some form of aggregation or multiyear averages for examining change or
for comparisons to other racial or
ethnic groups.
These limitations severely circumscribe
the depth and generalizability of data
on American Indians and inhibit the
Nation’s ability to know much of the
details about victims, offenders, and
the consequences of crime for both.
BJS has made a strong commitment
toward improving this situation through
the National Crime Victimization
Survey, improvements planned for the
National Incident-Based Reporting
System, and periodic BJS surveys of
offender populations.

National Crime Victimization Survey
The National Crime Victimization
Survey (NCVS) is one of two statistical
series maintained by the Department of
Justice to learn about the extent to
which crime is occurring. The NCVS,
which gathers data on criminal victimization from a national sample of household respondents, provides annual
estimates of crimes experienced by the
public without regard to whether a law
enforcement agency was called about
the crime. Initiated in 1972, the NCVS
was designed to complement what is
known about crimes reported to local
law enforcement agencies under the
FBI's annual compilation known as the
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).
The NCVS gathers information about
crime and its consequences from a
nationally representative sample of U.S.
residents age 12 or older about any
crimes they may have experienced. For
personal contact crimes the survey
asks about the perpetrator. Asking the
victim about his/her relationship to the
offender is critical to determining
whether the crime occurred between
intimates.
In the latter half of the 1980's, BJS, with
the Committee on Law and Justice of
the American Statistical Association,
sought to improve the NCVS components to enhance the measurement of
crimes including rape, sexual assault,
and intimate and family violence. The
new questions and revised procedures
were phased in from January 1992
through June 1993 in half the sampled
households. Since July 1993 the
redesigned methods have been used
for the entire national sample.

One of the important contributions of
the NCVS is that it permits multiple
years of responses to the same
questions to be analyzed, facilitating
research on small subgroups of the
population. For this study 5 years of
NCVS data (1992-96) were combined,
resulting in more than 1.1 million interviews, just over 7,000 of which were
conducted among American Indians.
This represents the largest national
sample of American Indians assembled
for purposes of better understanding
the incidence and effects of criminal
victimization. In addition, changes are
being introduced to the NCVS which will
permit future disaggregation of those
incidents occurring on tribal lands from
those occurring elsewhere.
Uniform Crime Reporting program
The UCR program of the FBI provides
another opportunity to examine the
issue of crime and violence among
American Indians through the incidentbased Supplementary Homicide Report
program and the summary compilation
of national arrest data. The summarybased arrest component of the UCR
provides data by race of arrestees for
both Part I crimes and the less serious
Part II crimes.
In 1996 detailed data by race and
offense were available for about 3 out
of 4 arrests nationwide (about 11.1
million of the estimated 15.2 million
arrests that year). American Indians
are estimated to account for just under
1% of those arrested for Part I violent
crimes and a slightly higher percentage
of those arrested for Part I property
crimes. Part II arrest offenses show
that American Indians comprise larger
percentages of those arrested for DUI,

American Indians and Crime 35

vagrancy, liquor law violations, and
public drunkenness.
Specific UCR coverage of those
arrests by tribal or BIA law enforcement agencies is not known, and the
extent to which they are included in the
national estimates of arrests is not
systematically described. In addition,
the 1996 UCR does indicate reduced
reporting of arrests by race (table 43)
and that a number of jurisdictions
(Kentucky, Illinois, the District of
Columbia, Florida, Vermont, Kansas,
and Montana) supplied either limited or
no arrest data. Some of these incomplete or missing States, notably
Montana, may affect the national
estimates for American Indians.
National Incident-Based Reporting
System
The National Incident-Based Reporting
System (NIBRS) represents the next
generation of crime data from law
enforcement agencies. Rather than
being restricted to a group of 8 Index
crimes that the summary-based
program uses, NIBRS obtains information on 57 types of crimes. The information collected on each violent crime
incident includes victim-offender
demographics, victim-offender relationship, time and place of occurrence,
weapon use, and victim injuries. An
important contribution of NIBRS is that
investigating officers are asked to
record information on the race of
victims and offenders in the incident.
As of the end of 1997, jurisdictions
certified by the FBI as capable of
reporting incident-based data in the
required format accounted for just over

36 American Indians and Crime

7% of the U.S. population (about 19
million Americans) and just over 6% of
all Index crimes (murders, rapes,
robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle
thefts). In those States with certified
NIBRS systems, about 50% of the
population is now covered by NIBRS
reporting to the FBI.
BJS is currently funding preliminary
studies of NIBRS data on two Indian
reservations and their utility for improving our knowledge of crime with special
regard for such concerns as intimate
violence, family violence, and domestic
violence and the role alcohol may play
in these kinds of police-reported
incidents. The Mille Lac (Minnesota)
and Lummi (Washington) tribal law
enforcement agencies will use NIBRS
data as a part of a case-tracking
system to follow the subsequent
processing of criminal incidents
brought to the attention of police.
Surveys of probationers and jail
and prison inmates
BJS also conducts national surveys of
persons under probation supervision
and those confined in local jails and
State and Federal prisons. These
nationally representative surveys are
the principal source of information on
those serving time following a conviction: their backgrounds, their prior
criminal histories, and the circumstances surrounding the offense for
which they had been incarcerated.
Both jail and prison surveys obtain
from violent offenders details about the
offender's relationship to the victim and
how the crime was carried out. All
surveys ask respondents to identify
their race and ethnicity.

Law Enforcement Management and
Administrative Statistics
BJS maintains the Law Enforcement
Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) series as the principal
national source of data on the operations of police and sheriff’s departments
nationwide. LEMAS compiles information every 3 to 4 years from all large law
enforcement agencies (at least 100
sworn personnel) and a sample of all
other departments. To create the
sample BJS also sponsors the Census
of State and Local Law Enforcement
Agencies, collecting basic information
about the functions and number of
personnel of all agencies
in the United States.
LEMAS data are obtained on the
organization and administration of law
enforcement agencies, agency responsibilities, operating expenditures, job
functions, weapons policies, and
demographic characteristics of sworn
personnel. BJS obtains similar information from campus law enforcement
agencies and Federal law enforcement
agencies.
LEMAS data are available on the race
and ethnicity of law enforcement
personnel since 1987.
National Judicial Reporting Program

reported felony sentencing data for
1986 and has provided national
estimates at 2-year intervals since that
time.
In addition to the convicted felon’s race
and ethnicity, NJRP obtains individuallevel data on the conviction offense,
sentences received, case-processing,
methods of conviction, and a wide
variety of other defendant
characteristics.
Federal Justice Statistics Program
The Federal Justice Statistics Program
(FJSP) provides annual data on
workload, activities, and case outcomes
in the Federal criminal justice system.
Information is reported on all aspects of
case processing in the Federal justice
system including the number of persons
investigated, prosecuted, convicted,
incarcerated, sentenced to probation,
released prior to trial, handled by
magistrates, sentencing outcomes, and
time served. Data for this series are
obtained from the Executive Office for
U.S. Attorneys, the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Courts, the U.S.
Sentencing Commission, and the
Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Data are available by defendant race
and ethnicity at each processing stage
of the Federal criminal justice system.
The FJSP was initiated in 1980.

The National Judicial Reporting
Program (NJRP) is a biennial sample
survey of court records on convicted
felons nationwide. Using a nationally
representative sample of counties,
NJRP compiles information on the
sentences that felons receive in State
courts and on the characteristics of
convicted felons. The NJRP first

American Indians and Crime 37

Numerical tables for the graphical
figures

Highlights. Pages v and 4. Age of
victim, 1992-96

Cover. Violent victimization rates,
1992-96
Rate of violent victimization per 1,000 persons
under age 12 in each
group
All
American
Age of victim
races
Indians
All violent
50
124
Murder*
9
7
Rape/sexual assault
2
7
Robbery
6
12
Aggravated assault
11
35
Simple assault
31
70
*The average annual murder rate is for
100,000 persons, all ages, 1992-96.

Highlights. Pages v and 2.
Violent victimizations, 1992-96

All races
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Number of violent
victimizations per
1,000 persons age
12 or older
50
124
61
49
29

Highlights. Page v. Murder,
1992-1996
Race of victim
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Number of murders
per 100,000 persons
7
34
5
5

38 American Indians and Crime

Age of victim
12-17
18-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55 or older

Rate of violent victimization
per 1,000 persons in each
group
All
American
races
Indians
116
171
100
232
61
145
44
124
27
43
9
14

Highlights. Page vi. Sex of victim,
1992-96

Sex of victim
Male
Female

Rate of violent victimization
per 1,000 persons age 12 or
more in each group
All
American
races
Indians
60
153
42
98

Highlights. Page vi. Offender
race, 1992-96
Race of victim
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Percent of violent
victimizations that
were interracial
70%
19
31
68

Highlights. Page vi. Alcohol use
by the offender, 1992-96

Race of victim
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Percent of victims of
violence reporting
offender drinking
46%
28
36
22

Highlights. Page vi. Weapon use
by offender, 1992-96

Age of victim
Firearm in nonlethal violence
Handgun in
lethal violence

Percent of violent
victimizations or murders
All
American
races
Indians
11%

13%

50%

28%

Highlights. Page vii. Crimes
reported to the police, 1992-96

Race of victim
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Highlights. Page viii. Under
correctional supervision or
control, 1997

Percent of violent
victimizations reported
to the police
46%
50
41
39

Highlights. Page vii. Arrests
of adults and youth, 1996
Number of arrests for Part I
violent crimes per 100,000
persons in each group
Race of
All
Under
arrestees
ages
age 18
American Indian
291
294
Black
937
1,356
White
182
283
Asian
98
192

Highlights. Page vii. Arrests
for drug and alcohol offenses,
1997
Number of arrests
per 100,000 persons
Arrest
All
American
offense
races
Indians
Drug
592
344
Alcohol-related
1,064
2,550

U.S. total
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Total under correctional supervision or
control per 100,000
adults
2,907
4,193
9,863
2,036
414

Highlights. Page viii. In State or
Federal prison, 1997

U.S. total
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Number in prison per
100,000 adults
629
870
2,895
335
104

Page 3. Simple assault rates,
1992-96
Race of victim
American Indian
Black
White
Asian

Number of simple
assaults per 1,000
persons age 12 or older
70
30
32
15

Page 5. Location of victims
of violence, 1992-96

Residence
of victim
Rural
Suburban
Urban

Number of violent victimization per 1,000 persons age
12 or more in each group
All
American
races
Indians
37
89
48
138
65
207

American Indians and Crime 39

Page 6. Victim-offender
relationship in violent
victimizations, by race, 1992-96

Victim-offender
relationship
Intimate
Family
Acquaintance
Stranger

Percent of violent
victimizations
All
American
races
Indians
10.7%
8.9%
4.7
6.7
33.7
38.7
50.8
45.7

Page 8. Characteristics of intimate
and family violence among
American Indians, 1992-96

Interracial
Alcohol-involved
Victims injured

Percent of violent
victimizations against
American Indians
Family
Intimates
members
75%
25%
58
67
59
49

Page 10. Violent offender use
of alcohol, by victim-offender
relationship and race, 1992-96

Victim-offender
relationship
Intimate
Family
Acquaintance
Stranger

Percent of violent victimizations in which the
victims felt certain they
could distinguish alcohol
use by the offender
All
American
races
Indians
64.7%
60.9%
49.2
76.5
36.1
40.0
28.9
42.0

40 American Indians and Crime

Page 19. Number of murders of
American Indians, 1976-96

1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996

Number of murders of
American Indians
140
140
123
146
154
140
167
152
133
141
176
151
133
151
150
152
158
141
133
161
134

Page 21. Murders by someone
of a different race from the victim,
by race of victim and type
of murder, 1976-96
Percent of murder victims
killed by someone of a
different race, committed
during &
Race of
Commission An
murder victim
of a felony argument
American Indian
74%
38%
Black
8
5
White
43
9
Asian
80
27

Page 23. Murder weapons used,
by race of victim, 1992-96

Weapon*
Handgun
Rifle/shotgun
Other firearm
Knife
Blunt object
Personal weapon,
including hands
and feet
Other types
of weapons

Percent of murder
victims
All
American
races
Indians
50.3%
28.1%
11.2
17.0
4.5
1.6
18.5
29.1
5.3
8.0

6.1

11.3

4.1

4.9

*Excludes cases in which type of weapon
is unknown.

Page 24. Arrests of adults and
youth for violent crimes, by race,
1996
Number of arrests for Part I
violent crimes per 100,000
persons in each group, 1996
Race of
All
Under
arrestees
ages
age 18
All races
275
445
American Indian
291
294
Black
937
1,356
White
182
283
Asian
98
192

Page 29. Use of alcohol by
convicted jail inmates at the time
of their offense, by offense type
and race, 1996

Most serious
offense
All offenses
Violent
Property
Drug
Public-order

Percent of convicted jail
inmate reporting alcohol
use at the time of their
offense
All
American
races
Indians
39.5%
48.8%
40.6
71.0
32.8
37.1
28.8
14.3
56.0
60.2

Page 30. Map of Federal district
courts. Investigations by U.S.
attorneys of suspects in Indian
country, fiscal year 1996
U.S. district
court
Northern Alabama
Arizona
Central California
Northern California
Southern California
Colorado
Middle Florida
Southern Florida
Northern Iowa
Idaho
Northern Illinois
Western Louisiana
Maine
Eastern Michigan
Western Michigan
Minnesota
Montana
Western North Carolina
North Dakota
Nebraska
New Mexico
Nevada
Northern New York
Eastern Oklahoma
Northern Oklahoma
Western Oklahoma
Oregon
Western Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Utah
Eastern Washington
Western Washington
Eastern Wisconsin
Western Wisconsin
Wyoming

Number of suspects
from American
Indian country
2
355
2
2
1
21
3
1
3
47
1
5
3
6
10
15
115
21
149
21
333
7
1
66
31
44
6
1
479
46
58
19
15
2
24

Source: Federal Justice Statistics Program

American Indians and Crime 41

 

 

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