FY'16 stats show 51.4% of prisoners at TCF were Samoa citizens


The top three crimes committed in the territory during fiscal year 2016 — Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 — are burglary, larceny and assault, according to law enforcement statistics included in the American Samoa Statistical Yearbook 2016, which was officially released late last week by the Commerce Department, working collaboratively with other ASG entities.

At the Territorial Correctional Facility in FY2016, the majority of inmates incarcerated were Samoa Citizens (94 total) with 51.4%. Other inmates were U.S. Nationals with 44.3 percent, U.S. Citizens with 2.2 percent, Tonga with 1.1% and Asians with 1.1%.

Of the total inmate population in FY 2016, 173 were male and 10 female, while FY 2015 population shows 186 male and 10 female.

In FY2016 183 inmates were recorded incarcerated compared to 196 in 2015. Average inmate population in FY2016 was 183 compared to 197 in FY2015.

As for the High Court, a total of 295 cases were filed in FY2016. There were 1,537 pending cases from FY2015, which were carried forward to FY2016 and only 302 cases were completed and disposed of in FY2016.

The annual statistical yearbook covers a wide range of issues in American Samoa. And among them is law enforcement and contains statistical data on crime, traffic, accident, firearm registration, inmate population, fire and court activities.

According to the statistical yearbook, in FY 2016, Department of Public Safety reported 282 Part I offenses; that includes crimes such as murder and non-negligent homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson.

The highest number of crimes committed during FY2016 were burglary followed by larceny and assault, both first and 2nd degree, according to the yearbook, which shows the total burglaries at 149, followed by at 79 for larceny and assault at 41.

In the past 10 fiscal years, FY 2009 has the highest number of burglary offenses at 250, according to the yearbook.

Also in FY 2016, DPS reported 1,512 Part II offenses — which are other assaults, forgery and counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, stolen property (buying, receiving possessing), vandalism, weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.), drug abuse violations, gambling, offenses against the family and children, driving under the influence, liquor laws, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, all other offenses, suspicion, curfew and loitering laws (person under age 18), and runaways (person under age 18).

Part I offenses committed by juveniles in FY2016 decreased by 8.5 percent, according to the data, adding that Part II offenses also dropped by 16 percent in FY2016. Two leading offenses for Part I and Part I were burglary and disorderly conduct respectively, it says, adding that 23 burglary cases involved juvenile offenders.

Traffic accidents increased by 1.5% with 750 reported in FY 2016, with a total of 106 people who suffered injuries in these accidents and one fatality was reported. For comparison, total accidents reported in FY 2015 was 739 with 89 people who suffered injuries and two fatalities.

Regarding firearms, 192 were registered in FY 2016 with shotguns totaling 92, pistols 32, and rifles at 68. A footnote in the yearbook states that shotguns include 12, 16 and 20 gauge models; and pistols include 22, 38, and 45 caliber models.  Additionally, “pistols are only used for police work.”

In FY 2015, there were 153 registered firearms, with 79 shotguns, 8 pistols and 66 rifles.

According to DPS, there were 85 fires reported in 2016 with 74 residential, 6 commercial, and 7 industrial.

The yearbook sites the sources of the data, for example, High Court data came from the Clerk’s Office of the High Court while other data came from DPS.  The 2016 Statistical Yearbook, which covers a wide range of issues, is now online at www.doc.as.gov

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