U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Documenting and Explaining the 2015 Homicide Rise - Research Directions White Paper

NCJ Number
Date Published
Richard Rosenfeld
This paper documents the scale of the 2015 homicide increase for a sample of 56 large U.S. cities.
The debate over the size, scope and causes of the homicide increase in 2015 has been largely free of systematic evidence. This paper documents the scale of the homicide increase for a sample of 56 large U.S. cities; examines three plausible explanations of the homicide rise (an expansion of urban drug markets fueled by the heroin epidemic, reductions in incarceration resulting in a growing number of released prisoners in the nation’s cities, and a “Ferguson effect” resulting from widely publicized incidents of police use of deadly force against minority citizens); and concludes with a call for the more frequent and timely release of crime information to address crime problems as they arise.
Date Created: June 13, 2016