The crackdown came under former President Bill Clinton, during a time when he told the nation that "gang and drugs have taken over our streets," according to The New York Times.
The death penalty was extended, more police officers were enlisted, and more prisons were constructed at a cost of billions of dollars in one the most sweeping reforms in U.S. history. But it turned out that the country had actually turned a corner on crime in the mid-1990s.
The rates for murder, robbery and assault have been cut in half since then, with New York City reporting 328 homicides for 2014, contrasted to 2,245 in 1990. Washington, D.C., had 104 murders in 2014, less than a quarter of the number of people slain 25 years ago, the newspaper reported.