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NCJ Number: NCJ 186049     Find in a Library
Title: Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods--Does It Lead to Crime?- Research in Brief
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): Robert J. Sampson ; Stephen W. Raudenbush
Date Published: 01/2001
Page Count: 6
  Series: NIJ Research in Brief
  Annotation: This study, part of the long-range Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, assesses the "broken windows" thesis (social and physical disorder in urban neighborhoods can lead to serious crime) and its implications for crime-control policy and practice.
Abstract: The amount of disorder in the neighborhoods studied was measured by directly observing what was happening on the streets during the day. Trained observers videotaped what was happening on the face blocks of more than 23,000 streets in 196 neighborhoods that varied by race/ethnicity and social class. Counted as signs of physical disorder were such items as garbage on the streets, litter, graffiti, abandoned cars, and needles and syringes. Counted as signs of social disorder were such activities as loitering, public consumption of alcohol, public intoxication, presumed drug sales, and the presence of groups of youth that manifested signs of gang membership. To determine the extent of neighborhood collective efficacy, some 3,800 residents of these neighborhoods were interviewed. Police records were examined for counts of three types of crime: homicide, robbery, and burglary. Disorder and crime alike were found to stem from certain neighborhood structural characteristics, notably concentrated poverty. Homicide was among the offenses for which there was no direct relationship with disorder. Disorder was directly linked only to the level of robbery. In neighborhoods where collective efficacy was strong, rates of violence were low, regardless of sociodemographic composition and the amount of disorder observed. Collective efficacy also appears to deter disorder. The findings thus imply that although reducing disorder may reduce crime, this occurs indirectly by stabilizing neighborhoods through collective efficacy. 7 notes
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Burglary ; Robbery ; Economic influences ; Disorderly conduct ; Social conditions ; Urban area studies ; Community involvement ; Environmental influences ; Urban criminality ; Crime causes theory ; Homicide causes ; Poverty and crime ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 93-IJ-CX-K005
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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