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See U.S. Crime Rates

As this chart from Gallup shows, violent crime rates have plummeted since the 1970s and 1980s, but most Americans actually believe rates are higher than ever. Most researchers agree a fraction of this drop in crime is a result of harsher sentences, but there are also many studies that point to imprisonment causing higher crime rates among youth and non-violent offenders.

It's partially the Clintons' fault

The prisoner parent epidemic