• Nov 9, 2017

The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline

Emily Badger, New York Times

November 9, 2017

This article reports on research by NYU sociologist Patrick Sharkey, showing that the role of small scale, local community-based organizations and individuals is vastly underestimated in accounting for declines in crime. The study is based on the records of 264 non-profit organizations over 20 years. While not claiming total credit, the article reports the finding that:

Every 10 additional organizations in a city with 100,000 residents, they estimate, led to a 9 percent drop in the murder rate and a 6 percent drop in violent crime.

The article includes examples of organizations working in Los Angeles and Atlanta and says the study also “affirms some of the tenets of community policing: that neighborhoods are vital to policing themselves, and that they can address the complex roots of violence in ways that fall beyond traditional police work.”

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