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July 8, 1911

Report of the Massachusetts Commission to Investigate the Question of the Increase of Criminals, Mental Defectives, Epileptics and Degen erates.

JAMA. 1911;LVII(2):146. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260070150033

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This report, presented to the Massachusetts legislature by a commission of five appointed by the governor to investigate the subject, contains a large amount of data regarding criminals and degenerates in Massachusetts, including tabulations from 1890 to 1000. Analysis of the prison reports for Massachusetts shows that, contrary to popular impression, crime has diminished since 1890, the number of arrests for crimes against the person in 1890 being 3.44 per thousand, and the average during the period of 1905 to 1909 only 2.92. Commitments to prison for crimes against the person in the period from 1890 to 1894 were 0.832 per 1,000 of population, and in the period 1906 to 1909 they were 0.499 per 1,000. Commitments for crimes against property have diminished from 1.21 in 1800 to 1.05 in 1909; crimes against public order from 1.63 in 1890 to 1.25 in 1909; the total number of commitments for all

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