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NCJ Number: 137099 Find in a Library
Title: Expanding Coupled Shock Fronts of Urban Decay and Criminal Behavior: How U.S. Cities are Becoming "Hollowed Out"
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(1991)  Pages:333-356
Author(s): R Wallace
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 24
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Many U.S. cities show an expanded hollowed-out pattern of decayed minority neighborhoods surrounded by less devastated, but still threatened, communities. A unified paradigm, in the form of a mathematical model, presents possible relationships between urban physical decay and criminal activity against which real data sets can be compared.
Abstract: The paradigm, using the South-Central Bronx as an example, suggests an association between the spreading burnout of the community, displacement of the poor and "evaporation of the rich," and the intensification of criminal behavior. Adapting a standard reaction/diffusion approach has produced a model of radially expanding coupled traveling-wave shock fronts in which physical decay is followed by increased pathological behavior which then contributes to the overall process and to a continuing cycle of desertification. The analysis suggests that public policies of resource allocation trigger the process of large-scale contagious physical disintegration and forced displacement which then shred the community's personal, domestic, and social networks essential to youth's proper socialization. Rather than the adoption of "triage" policies in which these urban communities are virtually abandoned, this author maintains that intervention policies must be interactive and targeted at communities during all stages of the phenomenon. 3 figures and 66 references
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory; Urban criminality
Index Term(s): Cause removal crime prevention; Economic analysis of crime
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