Connecticut’s violent crime rate remained nearly flat from 2016 to 2017, while its murder rate — a more volatile number — jumped significantly after hitting a decade’s low last year, according to FBI data released on Monday.

Nationally, the FBI data found the number of murders decreased last year—with an estimated 17,284 murders down from 17,413 in 2016. There were 102 murders in Connecticut in 2017, compared to 78 murders in 2016.  The state’s murder rate in   2017 was 2.8 per 100,000 residents, compared to 5.3 per 100,000 nationwide.

Although Connecticut’s violent crime rate remained largely unchanged in 2017, it still marked one of the state’s lowest rates since 1974. Connecticut and New Jersey had the largest decreases in violent crime in the nation over the last five years, according to a report by the state’s Office of Policy and Management.

Property crime, which includes burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson, fell by 2.15 percent in Connecticut last year.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy touted reported crime being at its lowest level in the state since 1967, and said continuing to make Connecticut safer will mean persisting with reimagining its justice system.

“Connecticut has proven to the rest of the nation that smart reforms deliver results by focusing on second chances rather than permanent punishment and stigma,” Malloy said at a press conference Monday morning.

The governor said that effort has included modernizing state drug laws, reforming the bail system to focus less on socioeconomic status, and raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction, among other undertakings.

According to the administration’s report, the total number of statewide arrests for all crimes in 2017 was 81,408, marking a 7.5 percent drop from 2016. The report noted the male inmate population has gone down 25 percent, while the female inmate population decreased by nine percent during that same period.

Clarice Silber was a General Assignment Reporter at CT Mirror. She formerly worked for The Associated Press in Phoenix as a legislative and general assignment reporter. In 2016, she conducted extensive interviews and research in Portuguese and Spanish for the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team at McClatchy, which was the only U.S. newspaper to gain initial access to the Panama Papers. She is a Rio de Janeiro native and graduated from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Jake was Data Editor at CT Mirror. He is a former managing editor of The Ridgefield Press, a Hersam Acorn newspaper. He worked for the community newspaper chain as a reporter and editor for five years before joining the Mirror staff. He studied professional writing at Western Connecticut State University and is a graduate student in software engineering at Harvard Extension School.

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