About Mike Males

Mike A. Males is a Senior Research Fellow at CJCJ. He has contributed research and co-authored numerous CJCJ publications, including on issues of drug policy, 3-strikes law, criminal justice realignment, and juvenile justice reform.

Dr. Males has a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from U.C. Irvine and over 12 years of experience working in youth programs. He is also content director of Youth Facts (www.YouthFacts.org)

The California Story: Reduced Crime, High Immigration

As California’s population moved from two-thirds white in 1980 to over 60 percent people of color today (Table 1), the state has seen dramatic reductions in crime in each category. Additionally, indicators of social health and safety—such as violence, violent death and school dropouts—have decreased significantly, and California has weathered the national opioid epidemic better than elsewhere in the country. Read the full report here: Refuting Fear As of 2015, the state’s total violent and … [Read more...]

Trump’s Distortions of Crime, Violence, Drugs and Youth

How does a rigorously fact-based organization respond to President Donald Trump, who shows no interest in factual discussion of serious American issues like crime, violence, and drugs? In his February 28, 2017, address to Congress, Trump declared, “The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.” In fact, 2015’s murder increase (up six percentage points from 2014, coming after a 47 percentage point decline in the murder rate since 1990 to … [Read more...]

California’s Urban Crime Steady Through Policy Reform Era

A new fact sheet from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice finds that, despite the implementation of large-scale criminal justice reforms, California’s urban crime rates remained stable from 2010 through early 2016. The report uses recently released FBI crime data from the first six months of 2016 to compare rates of property and violent crime across cities and over time. Sources: FBI (2017); DOF (2017). Note: Violent crime rates exclude rape because the definition was broadened in … [Read more...]

Violent Crime Arrests of Youth in California Expected to Decline Through 2020

A new research report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) predicts ongoing declines in the violent felony arrest rate of California's youth through 2020. The report analyzes past violent felony arrest data for two age groups — children under age 12 and youth ages 12-17 — to identify the relationship between childhood arrest rates today and those of older youth five years in the future. The analysis finds a strong, predictive relationship between the violent felony arrest … [Read more...]

Should Young People Be Banished from Public?

The fervor among a growing array of interests and institutions for extending “age apartheid” (as San Jose State University’s Anthony Bernier terms it) is becoming more alarming. Harvard Kennedy School, the National Academy of Sciences, and other academics are floating notions to redefine persons under age 25 functionally as “children” subject to newly restrictive regimes. It is not just youth involved in the justice system who are affected. Broad, mass restrictions such as curfews (which banish … [Read more...]

Is Proposition 47 to Blame for California’s 2015 Increase in Urban Crime?

New report shows that no conclusions can be drawn about Prop. 47’s effect on crime at this time. A new research report examines the effects of Proposition 47 on crime in California. By comparing recently released FBI crime data for California’s 68 largest cities to prison discharges/releases as a result of Prop. 47 and overall county jail population decreases, the report finds it is too early to conclusively determine whether or not Prop. 47 has had an impact on crime. Prop. 47, passed … [Read more...]

Another Dimension to “Black Lives Matter”

The Washington Post’s landmark survey of police shootings in 2015 found that around twice as many people were shot to death by police than others, including this author, had estimated from FBI and public health sources. In a large majority of deadly police shootings, officers killed suspects armed with lethal weapons; none of those shootings appear to be controversial. The controversy over possibly unjustified police shootings surrounds the fewer than one in 10 instances in which unarmed … [Read more...]

Why U.S. Officials Still Won’t Address Gun Violence

Poverty and its effects are a serious public health hazard, but the nation’s top health agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has failed to confront politicians with this reality. The CDC’s recently released report, Elevated Rates of Urban Firearm Violence and Opportunities for Prevention – Wilmington, Delaware, shows once again that American officials will not forcefully confront epidemic gun violence. The CDC report analyzed Wilmington, Delaware – chosen because it suffered an … [Read more...]

Misdirected Juvenile Justice Consensus Creates Backwards Policy

California has experienced a huge decrease in juvenile crime. Over the last 35 years,arrests of youth ages 15-17 fell from 195,300 to 64,500, arrests of ages 12-14 fell from 77,500 to 21,200, and arrests of youth under 12 fell from 14,000 to 1,200 (see figure below). When changes in population are factored in, rates of arrest fell by 73 percentamong high schoolers, 79 percent among middle-schoolers, and 94 percent among grade schoolers. These massive declines suggest revolutionary changes … [Read more...]

New Reform: Same Old Reform

The most striking conclusion I draw from CJCJ Executive Director Dan Macallair’s forthcoming book, After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of Twenty-First Century Reform, is that over the last 150 years, even the most dramatic changes in society, crime, and research seem to bring few new ideas to the antiquated assumptions driving juvenile justice policy. Macallair meticulously details the 1800s origins of the San Francisco Industrial School, … [Read more...]