[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] said in a speech [prepared statement] to the National Press Club Tuesday that the nationwide increase in crime is due in part to the increase in gang and gun violence among teenagers. Gonzales said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] will spend $50 million this year in efforts to reduce crime in these areas, including the use of $31 million in new funding to combat gang violence. The DOJ also announced a new initiative [DOJ backgrounder] focusing on state and local partnerships to fight violent crime. As a part of that plan, the DOJ plans to hire 70 additional prosecutors, make $125 million available to state and local governments for their efforts in fighting violent crime, and provide anti-gang training to state local police.
According to the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report [press release, PDF; FBI materials; JURIST report], violent crimes rose by 3.7 percent months during the first half of 2006. The FBI's 2005 annual report on violent crime [text; JURIST report] showed that violent crimes increased in 2005 for the first time since 2001; the 2.3 percent increase was the largest jump since 1991. AP has more.