FROM THE ARCHIVE
DOJ: American Indians highest injured
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JUNE 25, 2001

American Indians are more than three times as likely to be injured as a result of violent crime than their counterparts, according to Department of Justice statistics published on Sunday.

For the years 1992 to 1998, American Indians were injured at a rate of 39.6 per 1,000 persons, the highest of all ethnic and racial groups. The rate was more than twice that of African-Americans (16.5), nearly three times that of Hispanics (13.8), more than three-and-a-half times that of Whites (11.0), and six times that of Asian-Americans (6.6).

The average rate for the entire nation was 11.9 per 1,000.

In addition to having the highest rate of injury, American Indians were more likely to be seriously affected by violent crime. American Indians were severely injured at a rate of 6.6 per 1,000 persons, the highest of all ethnic and racial groups.

In contrast, African-Americans were severely injured at a rate of 3.1 per 1,000 while Hispanics were injured at a rate of 1.9 per 1,000 and Whites at 1.3 per 1,000. Asian-Americans had the lowest rate at 0.8 per 1,000.

A severe injury is defined as having a gunshot or knife wound, broken bones, loss of teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, or an injury requiring two days or more of hospitalization. Violent crimes are defined as rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, and simple and aggravated assault.

The statistics released yesterday point increasingly to the disproportionate effect of crime on Indian Country. While making up just 0.9 percent of the entire population, American Indians made up 35.1 percent of all injured victims from 1992 to 1998.

Overall, American Indians were victimized at a rate of 113.0 per 1,000 persons, the the highest in the nation. The rate was twice the rate o of African-Americans (56.5), more than twice the rate of Hispanics (51.5), nearly two-and-a-half times that of Whites (45.6), and more than four times that of Asian Americans (26.5).

Despite the crime disparities, funding for law enforcement in Indian Country is nowhere near the level it should be, say Bureau of Indian Affairs officials. The Bush administration has requested $160 million for tribal policing, while the need is $500 million, says Walt Lamar of the BIA's Law Enforcement Services.

Additionally, the number of police on patrol in Indian Country is far below accepted minimum standards. There are about 2,600 cops serving tribal communities while at least 4,300 are needed.

Get the Report Injuries from Violent Crime, 1992-98:
PDF | TEXT

Relevant Links:
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice - http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs

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