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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74805 Find in a Library
Title: Civil Rights Activity and Reduction in Crime Among Negroes
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:14  Dated:(1980)  Pages:27-35
Author(s): F Solomon; W L Walker; G J O'Connor; J R Fishman
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Originally published in 1965, this study presents data which suggest a substantial reduction in crimes of violence committed by blacks in three cities during periods of organized protests and direct action for civil rights in those cities.
Abstract: The process of direct action began on a large scale in the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, and was extended and given expression in student sit-ins, freedom rides, street demonstrations, voter registration efforts, and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The District of Columbia police reported a major crime reduction of 63 percent for the day of and the night after the march. Harlem (New York City) reported no robberies or other crime for the same period. For this study, data were collected for two cities in the Deep South and for one in a border state from various sources, including official crime reports, medical records, newspaper accounts, and individual interviews with residents. The focus was on major crimes, especially assault, committed by blacks. Two of the cities showed remarkable reductions in major crimes committed by blacks during the period of greatest direct action civil rights activity in those towns. The third city had no available details of the crime picture, but the leader of the civil rights movement in that city has been successful in converting members of delinquent juvenile gangs into nonviolent workers for civil rights. One possible explanation for the reduced crime levels could be that blacks release pent-up resentment of segregation by asserting themselves in direct action for civil rights, and that such emotional expression, when it occurs in a framework of community organization, may reduce the need for aggressive violent outbursts. Nine references are included.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Civil rights; Crime Rate; Crime rate studies; District of Columbia; Intra-racial crime; New York; Nonviolent behavior; Race relations; Racial discrimination
Note: An earlier version of this article presented before the 41st Annual Meeting of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, March 20, 1964, Chicago (IL). This article originally appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, V 12, 1965, P 227-236.
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