Is Lake County Florida safe in 2023?

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In general, the answer is Yes. Here is why:

Lake County, in the heart of Florida, stands as the state’s 19th most populous county, accounting for 1.7% of Florida’s total population. While it may not be the largest in terms of residents, its criminal justice statistics offer a unique insight into the county’s law enforcement and judicial landscape.

A Decline in Crime Rate in Lake County, Florida

One of the most notable trends in Lake County’s recent criminal history is the decline in its crime rate. In 2019, the county recorded an index crime rate of 2,093.2 per 100,000 population. By 2020, this number had dropped to 1,729.0, marking a significant 17.4% decrease. This decline positioned Lake County’s crime rate at the 31st rank in the state for 2020.

Lake county Florida Crime Rate Decline (per 100,000 population)
Lake county Florida Crime Rate Decline (per 100,000 population)

Commitments to Prison

The trend of declining crime rates is further mirrored in the number of new commitments to prison. In 2019, the rate stood at 2,551.1, which saw a 15.6% decrease in 2020, bringing the number down to 2,152.3.

Lake county Florida New Commitments to Prison
Lake county Florida New Commitments to Prison

Violent Crimes: A Closer Look

Violent crimes, often a focal point of criminal justice statistics, showed a slight decrease in Lake County. The county reported 1,007 violent crimes in 2019, which slightly dropped to 973 in 2020. The violent crime rate per 100,000 population was 265.3 in 2020, placing Lake County at 43rd in the state.

Lake county Florida Violent Crimes Graph
Lake county Florida Violent Crimes Graph

Felony Filings and Juvenile Delinquency

The fiscal year 2019–20 saw a total of 2,493 violent crime filings, with drug crimes leading the charge at 1,115 filings. The total number of charges filed during this period amounted to 5,665, averaging 2.3 charges per defendant.

The county recorded 728 delinquency complaints for the fiscal year 2019–20 on the juvenile front. Of these, 18 juveniles were directly filed in adult court.

Lake county Florida Felony Filings Graph
Lake county Florida Felony Filings Graph

Drug-Related Offenses

Drug-related offenses remained a significant concern, with drug-related new commitments accounting for 24.1% of all new commitments in 2020. This statistic is almost in line with Florida’s average of 24.3%.

Corrections and Detention

Lake County houses one Department of Corrections facility, which, as of June 30, 2020, held 1,061 inmates. The county’s detention facilities reported an average daily population of 740 inmates in June 2020, with a jail capacity of 1,131, resulting in an occupancy rate of 148.6%.

Demographics and Community Supervision

Lake County has seen substantial growth over the past decade. From 2010 to 2020, the county’s population surged by 23.5%, reaching an estimated 366,742 residents as of April 1, 2020. The median age of residents is 47.3 years, with a density of 385 people per square mile.

In terms of community supervision, as of June 30, 2020, 2,272 individuals were under the Department of Corrections’ watch in Lake County.

Lake County’s criminal justice statistics paint a picture of a region that, while facing its share of challenges, has seen notable improvements in certain areas, particularly in the reduction of crime rates. As the county continues to grow and evolve, these numbers will serve as a benchmark for future assessments of its criminal justice system.