We review the basic concepts of intervention analysis in the context of structural time series models and we apply this methodology to investigate the possible reduction in monthly crime rates reported from January 1984 up to and including December 2010 after Virginia abolished parole and reformed sentencing in January 1995. We find that the change in legislation has significantly reduced the burglary rates and to a lesser extent the murder rates in Virginia. The robustness of our results is investigated with an automatic detection of breaks procedure as well as with analyses of quarterly rather than monthly data.
- Crime rates
- Structural time series models