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The improbable transformation of inner-city neighborhoods: crime, violence, drugs, and youth in the 1990s.


At the peak of the crack epidemic The crack epidemic refers to a six year period between 1984 and 1990 in the United States during which there was a huge surge in the use of crack cocaine in major cities, and crack-houses all over the USA.  in many American cities--when people seemed ready to write off inner cities as hopelessly lost--a remarkable transformation began to take place. In a global economy where the gap between the haves and the have-nots continued to increase at an alarming rate, inner city neighborhoods defied nearly all expectations and with minimal outside intervention, mounted an improbable comeback.(1) The most visible and trumpeted manifestation of this rebirth was a plummeting crime rate which, in the latter half of the 1990s, fell to lows not seen in more than thirty years.(2) Incumbent politicians and law enforcement officials rushed to take credit, while the media and social scientists scrambled to explain how this seemingly unlikely turn of events could have happened in cities that had been unflinchingly described as being undermined and overrun by drugs, crime and violence.(3)

The reduction of crime was startling because it contradicted two powerful assumptions about life in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . The first was that cities were becoming progressively more dangerous places to live. In this formulation, not only were Americans more at risk for becoming victims of violent crime, they were also more likely to become perpetrators of crime as a result of the deterioration of civil society and greater exposure to violence and an unsavory environment.(4) With great alarm, the media, social scientists and policy makers proclaimed that the hegemony enjoyed by white middle class culture was being steadily eroded by the insidious spread of an amoral a·mor·al  
1. Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.

2. Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.
 lifestyle characterized by crime, violence and drug misuse that percolated out from inner city neighborhoods to infect suburbs and rural America.(5) In the drive to overtake the hearts and minds of America's youth, this self-destructive city-born subculture violated the taboo boundaries of race/ethnicity, gender and age. The threat to mainstream America was no longer exclusively embodied by black urban males, but increasingly included whites, females, country folk, and, most disturbingly, children.(6)

The second assumption was that children, the least prepared to withstand the rigors of life in a postmodern world, were becoming more violent.(7) Forced to grow up too soon, kids could no longer be kids and the critical period of adolescence was squeezed out as they transitioned directly into adulthood. Rushed along by care givers who force fed them in preparation for the working world or, alternatively, ignored by self-absorbed parents and left to fend for Verb 1. fend for - argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to strike"
defend, support

argue, reason - present reasons and arguments
 themselves, children experienced puberty at a much earlier age and the powerful hormonal cocktail that coursed through their bodies was left unregulated by the missing reins of moral reasoning Moral reasoning is a study in psychology that overlaps with moral philosophy. It is also called Moral development. Prominent contributors to theory include Lawrence Kohlberg and Elliot Turiel.  or the calming influence of family and community. Bereft of guidance and safe passage to adulthood, children were increasingly cast adrift to define themselves in a hostile world.(8) Many children found that they must "pack guns instead of lunches"(9) to fight their way out of childhood in an upward spiral of violence. Some researchers maintained that the "concentration effect" of living in inner city environments greatly increased the likelihood of using violence to resolve disputes and that exposure to "deviant models" characteristic of inner city life invariably in·var·i·a·ble  
Not changing or subject to change; constant.

 led to greater drug abuse, violence, alienation and apathy.(10) As Sullivan notes, however, very little research has been done on the impact of growing up in a violent environment and how it may contribute to greater or less violent behavior as an adolescent and later in life.(11) Clearly, social and/or environmental factors shape developmental trajectories, but increasingly, researchers are interested in what people do and the choices they make within the parameters that bound their everyday lives. Ethnographic research has shown that people, even drug users,(12) have agency and possess the capacity to intervene meaningfully in their own lives, though not always in ways that they intend.(13) Young people, in particular, are noted, on one hand, for their malleability and capacity to adapt in novel ways to their environment, but they have also been recognized as possessing the ability to alter the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. .(14)

While the inner cities of many large metropolitan areas in the United States have experienced severe social and economic problems since at least the 1960s, case studies and comparative analyses--cornerstones of anthropological inquiry--have shown remarkable variation between cities and neighborhoods that are divided by race/ethnicity, class, immigrant status, housing patterns, crime, violence, employment opportunities, and many other factors, including the prevalence and tolerance of drug use and distribution.(15) I examine neighborhoods and communities because they are, in addition to family contexts, where people learn to be human. They form the crucible where orientations, outlooks, behaviors, and lifestyles are forged.(16) To understand neighborhood variation, as the substantivist school of economic anthropology Economic anthropology is a scholarly field that attempts to explain human economic behavior using the tools of both economics and anthropology. It is practiced by anthropologists and has a complex relationship with economics.  insists,(17) economic behavior, indeed all behavior, must be situated in a local community which renders it intelligible. As Sullivan has pointed out with respect to crime, including drug dealing:
      Criminal economic activity is embedded in community context to a far
   greater extent than other kinds of economic activity. The risks of regular
   business activity depend primarily on markets and competition. The risks of
   criminal activity depend on these factors8 and on the relative positions of
   victims and offenders in the community.

To understand how and why inner city life has changed in the 1990s and the relationship between drugs, crime, violence and youth development, it is helpful to examine specific examples. This paper, which focuses on two Brooklyn, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
, neighborhoods, seeks to add to our understanding of the local-level processes which contributed to the remarkable transformation of the inner city in the 1990s. Examining the lives of different groups of young people--a household sample, gang members, and drug dealers--will show that the urge to invest explanatory power in structural (e.g., demographic, economic) or institutional (e.g., police, courts) factors to explain the turnaround witnessed in inner city neighborhoods, especially plummeting crime rates, is tempered by a close examination of the lives of people who live there, the very people who have agency and must ultimately decide whether to use a drug, pick a fight, or commit a crime.


This study is based upon ten years (1987-1997) of ethnographic fieldwork spanning nine different research projects conducted in several Brooklyn neighborhoods.(19) Though each of these projects focused on different topics and/or populations--for example, social networks among injecting drug users, crack markets, or the risk behaviors of local youth--the one enduring feature of each project was an attempt to situate sit·u·ate  
tr.v. sit·u·at·ed, sit·u·at·ing, sit·u·ates
1. To place in a certain spot or position; locate.

2. To place under particular circumstances or in a given condition.

 the observed behavior of research subjects in the context of a wider community. As such, neighborhoods as a whole were examined, and the direct observation and analysis of behaviors and practices at both the individual and group level were thus able to be placed in the context of a community which gave them meaning. Research participants were observed in public and private domains, allowing for descriptions of the intimate, mundane or extraordinary details of their everyday lives, the social contexts which framed them, and the manner by which they comported themselves and constructed identities.

For example, in one project,(20) hundreds of hours were spent observing injecting drug users (IDUs) in local settings where they interacted with each other. This included extended observations in shooting galleries, crack houses, shanties, shacks, street corner hangouts, abandoned buildings, vacant lots, rooftops, cars, trucks, public parks, fast food restaurants, and apartments. Many hours were spent observing injection events and discussing the procedures and protocols surrounding those events with individuals and groups. Observations were also made of the interactions between IDUs and drug distributors, family members, neighborhood residents, and various types of law enforcement personnel, including beat officers, members of the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT TNT: see trinitrotoluene.
 in full trinitrotoluene

Pale yellow, solid organic compound made by adding nitrate (−NO2) groups to toluene.
), and the Warrant Squad. After three years of ethnographic fieldwork, several hundred pages of observational notes had been written and more than 210 open-ended interviews with drug users in the neighborhood were conducted. In addition, formal interviews with 767 IDUs were completed in the project's storefront. Ethnographic interviews were designed to elicit information on a wide range of topics including demographics, childhood and family background, education and work history, drug use history, current drug use, social networks, knowledge of distribution and sales, income generation and expenditures, participation in criminal activity, impact of law enforcement, injecting practices, knowledge of HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.  and other blood-borne viruses, and experiences of treatment and/or quitting.

Ethnography allows for the combination of different data sources and permits information to be cross-validated and targeted for follow up and/or clarification. For this research, the combination of data from several studies provided widely divergent outlooks and orientations toward such topics as crime, violence, and drugs, and helped strengthen the process of triangulation triangulation: see geodesy.

The use of two known coordinates to determine the location of a third. Used by ship captains for centuries to navigate on the high seas, triangulation is employed in GPS receivers to pinpoint their current location on earth.
 between individuals and groups. Space does not permit a review of each of the research projects which contributed to this paper, however, hopefully what has emerged from this synthesis is a more sophisticated understanding of the people who have so remarkably changed their lives.


For many Americans, drug use by inner-city residents was responsible for the demise of once proud cities. Drugs, they said, devastated neighborhoods as swiftly and certainly as a wrecking ball and, in their wake, entire swaths of cities resembled Dresden after the war. Drugs were also seen as a contagious virus which eroded the flesh of communities and turned domestic and communal spaces meant for sociability and recreation into danger zones which needed to be quarantined from uninfected areas.(21) Parks were transformed into drug bazaars rendering them unsuitable for children. Mothers feared pushing baby carriages along streets resembling Sarejevo's "sniper alley "Sniper Alley" is the informal name for the main boulevard in Sarajevo which during the Bosnian War was lined with Serbian snipers' posts, and became infamous as a dangerous place for civilians to traverse. " where even the police would not drive. Local businesses were systematically driven out by mounting losses as goods mysteriously flew off shelves and landed on street corners. Others were co-opted by nefarious druglords who callously inverted once-legitimate enterprises into thinly-disguised shelters for drug profits, personnel, and product. Hearty entrepreneurs who attempted to defy the trend invested heavily in bulletproof glass, video cameras, industrial-strength locks, vicious dogs, and private security guards, but still found themselves losing the battle against thugs who encircled the neighborhood to intimidate customers and choke off commerce. Drugs were also said to deplete de·plete
1. To use up something, such as a nutrient.

2. To empty something out, as the body of electrolytes.
 a neighborhood's human capital by ruining once-promising lives and forcing productive member's of the community to move elsewhere. As the social life of neighborhoods visibly constricted, public services Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services.  also withered: garbage piled up uncollected as side streets became dumping grounds, firehouses were closed as beleaguered be·lea·guer  
tr.v. be·lea·guered, be·lea·guer·ing, be·lea·guers
1. To harass; beset: We are beleaguered by problems.

2. To surround with troops; besiege.
 firefighters conceded to the arsonists and drug vultures who scavenged over the bones of abandoned buildings, public transportation lines were cut back as fewer people had reason to come to or leave the neighborhood, taxi sightings became as rare as spotting a bald eagle bald eagle

Species of sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that occurs inland along rivers and large lakes. Strikingly handsome, it is the only eagle native solely to North America, and it has been the U.S. national bird since 1782. The adult, about 40 in.
, ambulances careened through the potholed streets but traveled long distances further endangering lives, schools were neglected causing the staff to become demoralized and the children to fall further behind developmental milestones, after-school programs were curtailed, libraries fell into disrepair, and pools, basketball courts, and other recreational facilities were transformed into fortresses which did little to insulate residents from the encroaching urban jungle
For the episode from the TV series Danny Phantom with the same name see Urban Jungle (Danny Phantom)

Urban Jungle is an educational computer game published in Croatia by Autoklub Rijeka and DIR.
. Replacing these hallmarks of community viability and vitality were institutions which fed the ultra-violent, cancerous drug culture that spread like wildfire, consuming inner cities throughout the United States and, increasingly, in urban centers around the globe.

This focus on drugs as the root of the problem plaguing cities was a new, more clever variation on a decades-old theme of blaming the decline of aging industrial centers on newly arrived minority populations.(22) In the older version, the afflictions and miseries associated with inner-city life were said to be the outcome of a "culture of poverty" or a "deviant subculture" in which poor people sought out, enjoyed, and perpetuated destructive lifestyles.(23) The new, less overtly racist variation on this theme--that drugs and the weak-willed racial/ethnic minorities who cannot resist them are responsible for the decline of cities-is a conviction which the crack discourse planted deeply in the American consciousness during the 1980s. It exempted the socioeconomic mainstream from responsibility for multiple inner-city crises. Within the social sciences, variations on the "deviant subculture" theme sealed off the inner-city drug economy as if it were in a virtual vacuum, impervious to all forces from the surrounding local, national, and global economies. In this school of thought, such an environment produced "superpredators" who grew up surrounded by "deviant, delinquent, and criminal adults in a practically perfect criminogenic crim·i·no·gen·ic   also crim·o·gen·ic
Producing or tending to produce crime or criminality: "Alcohol is the most criminogenic substance in America" James B. Jacobs. 
 environment--that is, an environment that seems almost consciously designed to produce vicious, unrepentant predatory street criminals."(24) Even some drug researchers who make reference to the role of larger structural forces in recent urban decline rely uncritically upon the analytically specious spe·cious  
1. Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious: a specious argument.

2. Deceptively attractive.
 idea of a "criminal underclass."(25) At its most extreme, this ideology of individual blame revived long-discredited theories of "genetic predisposition genetic predisposition Molecular medicine The tendency to suffer from certain genetic diseases–eg, Huntington's disease, or inherit certain skills–eg, musical talent " as the cause of criminal activity.(26)

Contrasting with those who blame the deterioration of the inner cities on the attitudes and norms of newly arrived minority populations or as a consequence of the drugs they used, another school of social scientists convincingly showed that structural factors played a decisive role in the degradation of inner city neighborhoods.(27) To these scholars, the destruction had far more do with the absence of legitimate employment opportunities than with the presence of hard drugs. The major "destroyers" were those who, following the age-old pursuit of profit maximization In economics, profit maximization is the process by which a firm determines the price and output level that returns the greatest profit. There are several approaches to this problem.  and capital accumulation Most generally, the accumulation of capital refers simply to the gathering or amassment of objects of value; the increase in wealth; or the creation of wealth. Capital can be generally defined as assets invested for profit. , made economic and political decisions in boardrooms and bedrooms far away from the inner city. The decline of the cities in the Northeast was the result of the regional de-industrialization of the 1960s, when manufacturing capital fled and relocated in the nonunionized South and West of the country, before moving on to Central and South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere.  and the Pacific Rim Pacific Rim, term used to describe the nations bordering the Pacific Ocean and the island countries situated in it. In the post–World War II era, the Pacific Rim has become an increasingly important and interconnected economic region. .(28) Most of the loss of manufacturing jobs and the subsequent increase of inner city poverty was concentrated in four Northern "frostbelt" cities: New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit.(29) Kasarda notes that "between 1967 and 1987, Chicago lost 60 percent of its manufacturing jobs, Detroit 51%, New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
 58%, and Philadelphia 64%."(30) The conjoined conjoined /con·joined/ (kon-joind´) joined together; united.


joined together.

conjoined monsters
two deformed fetuses fused together.
 effect of these structural forces over three decades had affected the availability of housing, real estate values, and money flows, producing the neighborhood contexts for the sorts of drug-using and drug-selling markets found in inner-city neighborhoods, each of which was accompanied by a different set of psychosocial outcomes.(31) These studies demonstrated that the destructive behavior of inner-city residents did not simply result from their use of illegal drugs, but originated in social-structural conditions.

Explanations which draw attention to the structural conditions underlying urban decay For the cosmetics company, see .

Urban decay is a process by which a city, or a part of a city, falls into a state of disrepair. It is characterized by depopulation, property abandonment, high unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and
 are an important corrective to those which interpret the problem as one of "deviant" norms, attitudes, or lifestyles, but a macrostructural perspective suffers from at least two weaknesses: (1) it has difficulty accounting for neighborhood variation, and (2) people are afforded little agency in such formulations; they are seen as simply reacting in predictable ways to their misfortunes.(32) With the exception of neighborhoods that are gentrifying,(33) the structuralist's portrayal of the conditions that serve to undermine inner-city life is unflinchingly bleak, and the expectation is that social conditions will follow suit. To adherents of this school of thought, the current drop in crime and drug use defies the logic of their model; they cannot adequately explain it. And yet, crime and hard drug use continued to decline, and, as of the end of 1997, had not bottomed out.(34)


In the early 1960s, many New York City neighborhoods experienced a radical transformation which originated in the period's restructuring of global, national, and regional socioeconomic arrangements.(35) Neighborhoods which had once been populated by European-Americans were rapidly evacuated and repopulated by migrants from Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies.  and the Caribbean, where U.S.-directed development programs had transformed indigenous economies, causing malintegration between economic sectors, unemployment, and new waves of migration.(36) But as European-Americans deserted the city, over 500,000 manufacturing jobs also fled the city, and as the city's tax base shrank, expenditure on public services was sharply reduced.(37) Although a few large manufacturers remained, the typical poor-neighborhood company in the 1980s and 1990s intermittently employed workers in non-union, low-skill, low-wage, and high-risk jobs. The economy had stopped guaranteeing economic prosperity and security and instead offered high unemployment and underemployment un·der·em·ployed  
1. Employed only part-time when one needs and desires full-time employment.

2. Inadequately employed, especially employed at a low-paying job that requires less skill or training than one possesses.
. Thus, a significant proportion of new immigrants arriving in U.S. cities were trapped in steadily deteriorating neighborhoods by unemployment and the lack of low-income housing.

The changes which took place in northeast Brooklyn were, in many ways, typical of what happened elsewhere. In Williamsburg, reform, conservative, and orthodox Jews fled to the suburbs beginning in the late 1950s, abandoning apartment buildings on the Southside of the neighborhood.(38) The Italians on the Northside entrenched themselves, fiercely clinging to neighborhood traditions.(39) Bushwick, an adjacent neighborhood to the southeast, emptied out in a rash of arson-related house fires as homeowners who could not sell attempted to collect insurance monies instead. Where there were once bustling, viable neighborhoods which thrived on stable manufacturing jobs nearby, there were now shuttered factories and block after block of abandoned buildings and empty lots.(40) The section had become an urban wasteland whose charred, derelict landscape was matched by a frontier mentality where confrontation and violence were commonly used to impose order and resolve disputes.(41)

The high turnover of tenants and homeowners weakened voluntary associations, if they were not completely discontinued. Disinvestment Disinvestment

1. The action of an organization or government selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary. Also known as "divestiture".

2. A reduction in capital expenditure, or the decision of a company not to replenish depleted capital goods.

 in schools and community depleted PTAs, clubs, church groups, and grassroots political groupings. The informal controls which defined and protected neighborhoods were thus slackened, opening the door for organized drag distribution and a steadily increasing crime rate.(42) The former wife of a Puerto Rican Puer·to Ri·co  
Abbr. PR or P.R.
A self-governing island commonwealth of the United States in the Caribbean Sea east of Hispaniola.
 drug distributor in Williamsburg described how, even by the 1960s, their neighborhood lacked structure and how the absence of formal organization among neighborhood residents was partially compensated for by the existence of family-based drug distribution networks:
      We never had any block associations. No, not in this neighborhood. This
   neighborhood wasn't together. One reason, I think, is because a lot of
   these people had a son or somebody bringing in some type of [illegally
   earned] money. Even grandmothers used to be lookouts. Whole families used
   to be into selling drugs. Yeah, from the 70s on; when they started selling
   drugs in the streets, they needed lookouts. It was like a family

These nascent organizations acted as springboards to political and/or economic power within the neighborhood. For newly arriving minority youths, aside from family connections, there were few enduring community ties to which they pledged loyalty. Lacking significant economic opportunity and entering an urban terrain where neighborhood conditions and controls were crumbling, many newcomers found themselves pulled into the orbit of drugs as distributors and/or users.(44) Drugs and the "fast" money circulating in drug markets proved more attractive to them than the seemingly bankrupt ideas of previous generations which believed it possible to climb the ladder to economic success and achieve the American dream through hard work.


An enduring theme of illegal drugs in New York City is that although distribution has been vertically organized since the prohibition of alcohol “Prohibition” redirects here. For other uses, see Prohibition (disambiguation).
Prohibition of alcohol, often shortened to the term prohibition, also known as Dry Law, refers to a sumptuary law in a given jurisdiction which prohibits alcohol.
, control over it has shifted from one ethnic population to another. In northeast Brooklyn, Puerto Rican freelance distributors and family businesses filled the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Italian retailers in the early 1960s. As the popularity of heroin skyrocketed in the mid 1960s, they quickly cornered street-level sales in many neighborhoods and their incipient organizations grew in size and complexity.(45) When the heroin epidemic ended in the 1970s, just a few Puerto Rican "owners" had consolidated the market and formed monolithic enterprises which tightly integrated wholesale, mid-level, and street-level markets. Located in selected Latino neighborhoods, these businesses remained an exclusively Puerto Rican enterprise. In Williamsburg, five Puerto Rican "owners" employed a street-level staff of exclusively Puerto Ricans.(46)

When the popularity of crack skyrocketed in New York City in the mid-1980s, the owners of heroin and cocaine businesses in Williamsburg resisted adding crack to their menus despite increasing numbers of customers who were asking for it, and only grudgingly allowed fledgling (Dominican) crack distributors to operate on the edge of their turfs.(47) Even though crack eventually made inroads into Williamsburg in the late 1980s, the antipathy which heroin and cocaine distributors, shooting gallery shooting gallery Substance abuse A place–eg, an abandoned building in an economically-depressed urban area–ie, a ghetto, where IV drug users congregate, purchase, inject–'shoot' heroin, cocaine, oxycodone or other drug.  operators and drug injectors held toward crack users initially kept the crack scene on the neighborhood fringe. But by passing up the opportunity to diversify their tightly controlled market, the owners of drug businesses in Williamsburg emboldened competitors who eventually usurped Puerto Rican dominance over the market.

Throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s, Bushwick was a second-tier drug market compared to Williamsburg. Located immediately southeast of the latter and further into Brooklyn, Bushwick is more isolated and inconvenient for drug users from outside the neighborhood to reach via car or public transportation. In Bushwick, territory was much less rigidly controlled than in Williamsburg, and crack, cocaine and heroin distributors, many of them newly arrived Dominicans, were able to make significant inroads into the neighborhood in the late 1980s.(48) By 1988, fueled by aggressive crack sales and offering an entire range of street-level drugs to consumers, drug markets in Bushwick began to rival those in Williamsburg.(49) Still, their location was bad and many drug users continued to utilize Bushwick as a secondary market, a place they would go only when drugs could not be found elsewhere. But if Bushwick's location was inconvenient, Williamsburg's was good, too good. In the mid-1980s, gentrification gentrification, the rehabilitation and settlement of decaying urban areas by middle- and high-income people. Beginning in the 1970s and 80s, higher-income professionals, drawn by low-cost housing and easier access to downtown business areas, renovated deteriorating  in lower Manhattan Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York. Lower Manhattan is generally defined as the area delineated on the north by Chambers Street, on the west by the Hudson River (North  began to drive many young artists and professionals to the outer boroughs and Williamsburg became an increasingly attractive option to many of them.(50) A housing shortage in Williamsburg, which was already bad given rapidly expanding Latino and Hasidic communities,(51) was thus exacerbated by an influx of Manhattanites. Suddenly, buildings which had been abandoned since the early 1970s and were the sites of shooting galleries and hideouts for drug dealers were valuable property. They were sealed up, cleaned up, and completely transformed within the space of a few years. Many factory buildings near the waterfront, especially those with a view of Manhattan, were turned into lofts and sold for handsome profits. Apartment buildings were rehabilitated and rented out to local low- and middle-income families who waged spirited battles to gain entry.

For Bushwick, the citywide blackout of August 1977, when many businesses and homes were burned, represented a low point. Throughout the 1980s, like Williamsburg, Bushwick too began to experience renewal, though much more modest in scope.(52) Small industries reclaimed many vacant factories and New York City, in partnership with landlords, slowly began to rehabilitate some of the apartment buildings which had gone untended for many years. But when Williamsburg began to gentrify gen·tri·fy  
tr.v. gen·tri·fied, gen·tri·fy·ing, gen·tri·fies
To subject to gentrification: gentrify a row of Victorian houses.
 and the Tactical Narcotics Team cracked down on street-level drug markets there, the drug markets were displaced to Bushwick.(53) Robert, a forty-one-year-old African-American from Newark, NJ, discussed his reasons for coming to Bushwick in 1990:
      I started copping at Alphabet City [Manhattan's Lower East Side]. When
   [Operation] Pressure Point started [in 1983-84], the boys told me things
   had moved over to Williamsburg, South Second Street. Then they cracked down
   over there and unless you actually know someone or something like that,
   because of the new housing, the place is virtually cleaned except for a few
   bodegas up and down Broadway that you can buy cocaine from, and stuff like
   that. So then that whole scene closed down and I started coming down

Thus, the modest recovery mounted by Bushwick was promptly stalled by a steady increase in the amount of street-level crack, heroin, and cocaine trafficking which drew participants from throughout the New York metropolitan area New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island is the most populous metropolitan area in the United States and the third most populous in the world, after Tokyo and Mexico City. .(55) By 1990, a street-level drug "supermarket" had formed in the northern tier The Northern Tier can refer to
  • In America, the Five Northern Tier counties in Pennsylvania.
  • The Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases of the Boy Scouts of America
 of Bushwick and within a four block area, more than two dozen different "stamps" of heroin were aggressively hawked by street-level sellers who called out the name of their product like Coney Island Coney Island (kō`nē), beach resort, amusement center, and neighborhood of S Brooklyn borough of New York City, SE N.Y., on the Atlantic Ocean.  carnival barkers. Between February 1991 and May 1992, the number of distributors and users at the largest street-level market in Bushwick doubled.(56)

The police, and Tactical Narcotics Teams (TNT) in particular, enjoyed a great benefit from the contraction and concentration of street-level cocaine (crack) markets throughout New York City. They were able to focus their efforts on fewer precincts and still maintain the same high number of arrests (about 400 per month per unit) previously achieved within a much larger geographical area. For example, over 8,200 persons were arrested between 1988 and 1992 in Bushwick alone. A common joke was that Rikers Island Ri·kers Island  

An island in the East River off the south coast of the Bronx, New York City. Part of the Bronx borough, it is the site of a large penitentiary.
, the city jail, had turned into "a Bushwick block party"(57) where young women and children sat in the waiting room exchanging gossip about recent arrests, sentences received, and mounting family pressures, while young men gathered on the other side of the bars in anticipation of visits by family and friends.

The citywide conversion of more decentralized drug markets into a few supermarkets in Bushwick, East Harlem, and a few other neighborhoods also precipitated greater tumult. Drug distributors have long commanded attention(58) for their unprecedented levels of and novel approaches to violence, including the infamous "Colombian necktie," the use of boxcutters to slash faces, and their promotion of the 9mm pistol to the status of cultural icon A cultural icon is an object or person which is distinctive to, or particularly representative of, a specific culture. An example is the bowler hat which could be considered an English cultural icon. Others include tea, The Beatles and association football. . Goldstein has noted that "systemic" violence accounts for the lion's share of incidents related to illegal drugs,(59) and nowhere was that more apparent than in Bushwick. While some markets earned reputations for controlling violence (e.g., Hamid's marijuana distributors(60) and Williams' crack dealers(61), distributors in Bushwick employed it regularly and systematically.(62) There, large corporate-like organizations effected street-level drug sales, and since institutional and neighborhood-level restraints had already vanished, they completely disregarded the sensibilities of residents in doing so. They also undermined the prosperity of the community which hosted them, just as their counterparts in the formal economy had done. While their sole benefit consisted of low-level, dead-end jobs for youths, the damages included plummeting property values, a greater incidence of drug misuse, and high rates of incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.

Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes.
 and AIDS. But their most crippling legacy was violence. As one college student from the neighborhood wrote in 1991, "Nights here are like the Fourth of July Fourth of July, Independence Day, or July Fourth, U.S. holiday, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Celebration of it began during the American Revolution. , but all year round. There are always guns being fired."(63) Another noted that there were few public places that were safe any longer:
      It was the summer of 1989 and I was together with my best friend from
   high school, Julio, and we were going to the park to play some ball and
   catch up on old times. All of a sudden we heard gun shots from an Uzi
   machine gun. I yelled, "get down," and took cover behind a tree. My friend,
   on the other hand, panicked and ran. I couldn't believe that I was
   witnessing an actual drug war over territory in my neighborhood. I was
   shocked and amazed. I wondered where and how my friend was doing. I looked
   and saw him lying on the ground, bleeding from his left leg. The whole
   thing must have lasted only a few minutes, but it seemed like forever.
   Today, I can no longer go to the park where I used to run track and field
   for fear of such episodes. I either drive to another track or just run
   through the neighborhood in the early morning, which can also be


By 1992, one Puerto Rican and three Dominican "owners" ruled over crack distribution at the northern end of Bushwick. Each had a trademark, or the color of the "tops" of the crack vials they sold: white, blue, brown and pink. Dominican families monitored the day to day operations of the largest three. Younger family members and close non-kin "associates" directed street sales, while older family members, entirely removed from the street scene, were the "executives." When there were not enough family members, owners employed persons who shared a similar background. The practice earned them the resentment of street-level workers, particularly among the Puerto Ricans who had controlled distribution throughout the 1970s and early 1980s (and had similar policies), but were later toppled by the Dominicans in the late 1980s. The rivalry which had long existed between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York City was thus sharpened in the drug business:
      The Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are pretty separate. They got their own
   clubs, you know, their own crew. Some of them socialize, you know ...
   people that are not in the drug business. They might work together in the
   same factory, same jobs. Some I could say they're tight. But when it comes
   to the drug business, they're not tight, you know. There's no trust
   whatsoever, you know; and it's always remorse and always backbitin' and
   they're always tryin' to get over on each other.(65)

The supply of eligible Latino street-level dealers was depleted by arrests resulting from the war on drugs. African-Americans, European-Americans and heavy drug users, who were marginalized and victimized even more severely by these organizations, replaced them.(66) The gulf separating management from labor widened and their already contentious and adversarial relationships turned even more distrustful dis·trust·ful  
Feeling or showing doubt.

dis·trustful·ly adv.

 and violence-prone. Resenting their harsh and dangerous conditions of labor, and the disrespect their managers showed, many street-level sellers took every opportunity to abscond To go in a clandestine manner out of the jurisdiction of the courts, or to lie concealed, in order to avoid their process. To hide, conceal, or absent oneself clandestinely, with the intent to avoid legal process. To postpone limitations.  with the drugs. They fully expected physical punishment for the transgression.
      I haven't been down here recently because well, 'cause I ain't got they
   money yet. And the last guy I seen that had got busted, or jetted, or
   whatever, he came back months later and he didn't have the money, and I
   seen them bat him down. They broke his ribs, they broke his lungs.(67)

      If they catch the people that are cuttin' out with their product they
   either make them work for nothing or they'll break their arm, or break
   their leg. Forget it, man. They hurt ... they get a beating. They break
   their legs or an arm. But now if anyone hits you, they all hit you. They
   all hit you.(68)

While brute force (programming) brute force - A primitive programming style in which the programmer relies on the computer's processing power instead of using his own intelligence to simplify the problem, often ignoring problems of scale and applying naive methods suited to small problems directly , or the threat of it, is the ultimate means distributors have to enforce rules, a business is mined when it invites police attention too frequently. Accordingly, sensible or successful distributors avoided or minimized its use. But Bushwick's corporate "owners" were reckless. Violent acts were more common in their markets because of the divisions and animosities that rigidly separated different levels of the organizations, because the owners did not live in the neighborhood and did not have to witness or confront the aftermath of their deeds, and because they could easily relocate supplies to outlets they maintained in other neighborhoods. Indeed, owners regularly encouraged their managers to use public displays of force as a way of intimidating customers, untrustworthy employees, and to send the message that they should not be crossed. For example, one owner hired an "enforcer" who strolled around the neighborhood with a baseball bat on which he wrote the names of his targets. After punishing them, he rubbed off their names.

In the Bushwick of the early 1990s, "face to face" or "man to man" confrontations between individuals were replaced by humiliating hu·mil·i·ate  
tr.v. hu·mil·i·at·ed, hu·mil·i·at·ing, hu·mil·i·ates
To lower the pride, dignity, or self-respect of. See Synonyms at degrade.
 group beatings, or "beatdowns." Their unrestrained brutality affected local adolescents, who were its daily witnesses. Sometimes they too participated gratuitously in beatdowns and other bloody episodes in which they had no stake. They simply saw someone being chased and, with malicious smiles on their faces, picked up their baseball bats or bicycle chains and joined the chase. For them, "fun" was no longer spraying graffiti, playing ball, or dancing, it was the number and severity of beatdowns they administered daily, and the beatdowns became so frequent that the sight of blood stopped being a cause for alarm to researchers and local residents alike:
      Looking out the storefront's picture window, I saw my old neighbor,
   George, this morning. He was all beaten up and his nose was all bloody. He
   said that some "dope fiends" had jumped him this morning and tried to take
   his money. I don't know whether this is true or not, but suspected that he
   might have been the one who tried to take someone's money. He came inside
   the storefront and wiped his face off with some paper towels. We hadn't
   seen him for several months, at least since New Year's. He said that today
   was the first time that he had come down here in a couple of months. So I
   asked him what he's selling out here today. He said he was going to be
   selling "brown tops" [crack]. Apparently, brown tops is an organization
   where somebody can just show up on their door step all beaten up and say,
   "yo, I want to sell for you today," and they will put him out there on the
   street, bloody nose and all.(69)

Drug supermarkets made these atrocities an unremarkable commonplace feature of everyday life. While police operations which target street-level drug markets may anticipate the use of force as people resist being arrested or during their attempts to flee, some members of the New York City Police Department were innovative, and conceived many unusual applications which deeply alienated neighborhood residents. For example, when "sweeping" the main drug selling areas, the officers would cordon off Verb 1. cordon off - divide by means of a rope; "The police roped off the area where the crime occurred"
rope in, rope off

inclose, shut in, close in, enclose - surround completely; "Darkness enclosed him"; "They closed in the porch with a fence"
 both ends of a street and require everyone in between to lie down, regardless of who they were. While this tactic sometimes yielded a handsome number of arrests, it also obliged elderly grandmothers and young children to grovel 1. grovel - To work interminably and without apparent progress. Often used transitively with "over" or "through". "The file scavenger has been groveling through the /usr directories for 10 minutes now." Compare grind and crunch. Emphatic form: "grovel obscenely".
 on the asphalt while being roughly searched--and it enraged many residents.

When the police could not find drug distributors to arrest, they went to well-known shooting galleries. But officers loathed going into them. They believed that too many hiding places lurked in the dark and sometimes labyrinthine lab·y·rin·thine
Of, relating to, resembling, or constituting a labyrinth.


pertaining to or emanating from a labyrinth.
 constructions and that they were an obstacle course of discarded HIV-infected syringes. Instead, to flush the drug users out, some officers used to throw large rocks through the windows. They were caught in the act by a prize-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times

Morning daily newspaper. Established in 1881, it was purchased and incorporated in 1884 by Harrison Gray Otis (1837–1917) under The Times-Mirror Co. (the hyphen was later dropped from the name).
, who had been interviewing heroin injectors when the projectiles whizzed by his head.(70) Drug users also showed the research team large welts across their torsos which officers had inflicted with whips of thick television cable as they fled the galleries.

In the summer, local police officers mercilessly and systematically harassed drug users who loitered near the major drug selling locales. Early in the morning when they had fallen asleep on the sidewalk, foot patrol officers would routinely rouse them with kicks and order them to move. Sometimes the kick simply nudged the unfortunate awake, at other times it was meant to cause pain. So habituated were they to the past-time that the police officers continued it even when video cameras were brought to photograph them. They also responded with an overwhelming show of force at almost any infraction Violation or infringement; breach of a statute, contract, or obligation.

The term infraction is frequently used in reference to the violation of a particular statute for which the penalty is minor, such as a parking infraction.

 by a drug user, dealer, or passerby.
      A young Latino, about 25 or 30 years old and weighing about 120 pounds,
   was being arrested by two officers. They had him in a choke hold and he
   started bleeding through his nose. I informed the police officer that the
   guy was bleeding through his nose and he couldn't breathe. His reaction to
   me was, "hey, I can't breathe either." As the crowd got bigger, they
   started to notice the guy was bleeding through his nose, and people were
   saying things [addressing insults] to the cop. He sent some sort of message
   into his walkie-talkie, and within 30 seconds there were dozens of cops on
   the corner. They were all there to arrest one guy who apparently had
   attempted to steal a bicycle. It just looked ridiculous, but the situation
   could have easily gotten out of control.(71)

By late summer 1992, the populace was close to insurrection and television and newspaper crews came to interview unruly crowds who were protesting the mounting number of police shootings and beatings of youths.(72) Police had responded in full riot gear riot gear nuniforme m antidisturbios inv

riot gear n in riot gear → casqué et portant un bouclier

riot gear n
, and other residents had pelted them from the rooftops with bottles, debris, and hateful epithets. Apparently thinking that beleaguered drug distributors were fomenting the neighborhood's growing hostility towards them, and immediately following a sensationalizing article in the New York Times,(73) the police mounted yet another major offensive against street-level drug markets in September, 1992.(74) They stationed a mobile trailer in a nearby park to serve as the base of operations Noun 1. base of operations - installation from which a military force initiates operations; "the attack wiped out our forward bases"

air base, air station - a base for military aircraft

army base - a large base of operations for an army
 for more than 300 additional uniformed officers. These were positioned around the park and on each corner of drug "hot spots hot spots

acute moist dermatitis.
." Mounted police Mounted police are police who patrol on horseback. They continue to serve in remote areas and in metropolitan areas where their day-to-day function may be largely picturesque or ceremonial, but they are also employed in crowd control.  trotted by to discourage trafficking or "loitering." Officers stopped and questioned all pedestrians and asked for their identification and destination. Non-residents were told to stay out. The heaviest drug trafficking streets were sealed with wooden barricades and police vans, and traffic was diverted to other streets. When evening came, they drove in large flatbed trucks with gas-powered generators and klieg lights which, parked at strategic corners, illuminated entire blocks. Police painted the street numbers of buildings on rooftops to enable helicopters to give additional support to officers pursuing suspects on foot. For the next 18 months, Bushwick was virtually occupied by a small army of police.


For Bushwick youth, it would not have been unreasonable to expect that rates of crime and violence would continue to increase throughout the 1990s, and that it was only a matter of time before a new breed of superpredators made their ominous presence felt. Much evidence seemed to suggest that the dominant models of urban decay and worsening youth violence were correct. Many youth had grown up in dysfunctional multi-problem families, without positive role models, and were left unchecked by the informal controls which had defined and protected previous generations. The lack of structure worsened as youth turned into adolescents. There was typically a diffusion of responsibility Diffusion of responsibility is a social phenomenon which tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size when responsibility is not explicitly assigned.

Diffusion of responsibility can manifest itself:
 for social control shifting away from parents and onto societal institutions, especially schools. In Bushwick, these societal checks had been largely missing and young adults had to forge their own solutions to problems.

The daily occurrences of violence and crime etched deep furrows on the bodies and psyches of Bushwick youth. A representative household sample of Bushwick youth aged eighteen to twenty-one conducted in 1994-95 noted the pervasiveness of violence:
      Violence has been an important part of their lives: approximately 10%
   report having been physically abused by a police officer, 30% have been
   threatened or stabbed with a knife, 27% have been caught in a random
   shoot-out, 22% have been threatened or shot at with a gun, 33% have been
   mugged or robbed with a threat of violence, and 14% of the women and 5% of
   the men report having been sexually abused. Over half (51%) report having
   carried a weapon such as a knife, club or gun.(75)

But rather than becoming superpredators as an outcome of this exposure, many youth withdrew from social life, afraid of lingering in public spaces for fear of violence. Violence had become so commonplace that they often listened in near disbelief to stories about when fighting was fair, and done for reasons that were righteous or virtuous. Walter (seventeen years old when interviewed in 1993) discussed his reasons for avoiding spending time on the street:
      Like the stories I heard about when my uncles were growing up: if there
   was a problem between two gangs, those two gangs would kill each other.
   It's not like that anymore. They try to hit you ... if there's ten people
   there, they're just gonna come and spray the whole block and whoever gets
   caught gets caught. They're not even aiming at you, they're just ... that's
   the crowd, he's in there somewhere, let's knock everybody. It's crazy. And
   they don't care if there's children, older people. They don't even respect
   cops anymore. They don't respect anybody.(76)

Many youth who were interviewed between 1993 and 1995 said that they were so fearful of random and/or police violence that they no longer spent much time in parks, playgrounds, stoops, or the other places where youths had traditionally "hung out." Indeed, the question, "where do you hang out?" seemed to offend them. When pushed to explain, one former cocaine and heroin dealer on Fishman Street who had renounced his violent past and tried to distance himself from peers who continued to commit crimes and sell drags for corporate owners, said that hanging out was for "hoodlums." Harv (nineteen years old when first interviewed in 1993):
      What makes one a hoodlum? It's a kid who runs around doing stupid,
   ignorant things, like hanging out late at night, getting drunk, startin
   fights, wanna do crime, steal ... that's a hoodlum. Somebody who's always
   in the streets and he's very streetwise. It's someone who does vandalism
   like shooting in the air or breaking bottles in the street.(77)

Javier (sixteen years old when first interviewed in 1993) grudgingly admitted that he sometimes spent time with age-mates who were involved with drugs, violence, and crime, but he preferred to avoid them in favor of a more mature crowd.
      Some of the people I grew up with are getting killed, like about ten of
   them got killed. For me, I think I grew up ahead of time. I'm more of an
   adult than anything else. OK, I hang out. I chill out now and then with the
   young guys, but it's rare. Most of the time, during the week you find me
   with people like thirty, mid thirties, forty years old and I'm chilling
   with them. I feel safer, you know. I don't have to deal with what's going
   on in the street. Once in a while I'll hang out with one of the fellas I
   grew up with. Maybe if I bump into him. Like if I'm walking down the
   street, and I haven't seen him for a while or I'd see what he was doing and
   I was avoiding him. Maybe I'd hang with him for a couple of minutes, or at
   the most for an hour. But then, you try and draw back, 'cause you don't
   want to get caught up in what he's doing especially if the police are
   looking for him.(78)

Violence and crime did not disappear overnight or entirely from the lives of this generation of youth, but in moving away from exposure to high-risk settings and the performance of violent acts in public spheres, the intimate contexts of private, and especially family, life became the arena where violent episodes found their expression. In the mid 1990s, social service providers throughout Bushwick reported significant increases in the amount of domestic violence cases that had gone, for the most part, unreported to the police and which there were precious few community resources to handle. The director of one social service program said that between 1995 and 1997, the number of phone calls, referrals, and cases of domestic violence they handled more than doubled, compelling the agency to hire a social worker who handled only such cases.(79)

Many youth had intimate experience with the variety of problems that afflicted their elders as an outcome of involvement with cocaine, crack, or heroin, and they made a conscious attempt to avoid similar fates. Bubbler (seventeen years old in 1996), for example, had witnessed his mother's despair after two older, heroin-using brothers who worked for the corporate owners on Fishman Street became casualties of the war on drugs and were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Bubbler smoked only marijuana, and though he had intermittently sold crack in his middle-teens, by seventeen, he had stopped selling, moved in with his girlfriend, attended high school regularly, and sought legitimate employment.

The impact of parental drug misuse on family life was deeply felt by many young Bushwick residents, often narrowing the parameters of their own drug use. Victoria (twenty-five years old in 1997) had extensive involvement with drug distributors and users as a child and a teenager, but she remained steadfastly abstinent, chastened by her mother's experience:
      My mom used dope, crack and other drugs for many years. She used to make
   deliveries for big-time dealers. One guy was Puerto Rican and his partner
   was Colombian. Sometimes, she'd take dope and coke to Puerto Rico for them.
   They would strap the packages to her body. Somebody would come to the house
   and do it for her. She'd make these runs for them about once a month--to
   San Juan--and never got caught. I'm not sure how much money she made each
   time, but once, I know, she made $15,000. She still sniffs and shoots
   dope.... mostly shoots it. She's a client of ADAPT's needle exchange.(80)

Victoria never divulged whether her mother had contracted HIV from her many years of injecting, but Bushwick had one of the highest rates of HIV and AIDS in New York City(81)--double the rate of the city as a whole--and the threat of contracting the virus was never far from the minds of youth. Bolo, the owner of a crack business in the neighborhood,(82) shook his head in sorrow when talking about his mother's sister who lived next door, a forty-three year old drug injector and crack smoker who had been diagnosed with AIDS. Macho (born in 1978), an abstinent youth who occasionally sold crack to make money, talked about the impact of AIDS on his life:
      My mom, who's dead now, grew up on Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick. She
   died last year [1996], on June 12th, of AIDS. My little sister's father
   gave it to her and she died 3 months after she was diagnosed with the
   disease. He had the virus and never said anything to her. Eventually, she
   began to wonder why she was getting sick all the time and when we found out
   the truth, she was shocked.(83)

Given the AIDS epidemic, a growing body count in the war on drugs, and the many adverse psychosocial outcomes that follow drug misuse, many African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race.  youth throughout New York City began to avoid heroin and crack in the 1990s.(84) In Manhattan, for example, "the rate [of cocaine/crack use] among youthful arrestees went from 70% in 1988 down to 31% in 1991, where it remained through 1995. It declined further to 22% in 1996."(85) In place of hard drugs, they consumed only marijuana, and viewed even cigarettes and malt liquor, which had been aggressively marketed in their neighborhoods,(86) with disfavor. This generation of youth put tremendous pressure on their age mates to eschew stigmatized substances. "You don't get no respect [if you use drugs]. See, the in-thing is the weed or drinking, but if you start messing with the dope, that's bad, you're a crackhead crack·head  
n. Slang
A heavy user of crack cocaine.

Bushwick youth were nearly unanimous in their opinion that their peers would not be proud of using heroin or crack. When asked where people their age might be using heroin or crack, one said, "Hiding somewhere on the down low. Probably in the bathroom. Only the oldtimers do those things where others can see them.(88)" Another said that he knew only one peer who used heroin or cocaine:
      The reason I found out [a friend was using drugs] was by accident. I'm
   walking in the back of the building in the dark and I just happened to ...
   ooops. But now, he has to keep it on the hush-hush, you know. Its not
   something that [he's] proud of.(89)

In a neighborhood which had become nearly resigned to the presence of brazen street-level drug markets, successive generations of youth who participated in them, and high rates of HIV/AIDS,(90) it initially came as a surprise when Friedman et al discovered that less than 3% of their sample of youth said that they had used heroin, only 9% said that they had ever used cocaine, and none were infected with HIV, syphilis, or HTLV-2(91) After all, most models of adolescent development had suggested that inner-city youth were at progressively greater risk of drug abuse and contracting pathogens like HIV.(92) Even worse, models of the likely progression of the AIDS epidemic had predicted that the virus would increasingly spread via heterosexual contact--the province of sexually active youngsters.(93) But clearly, this generation was not using hard drugs at rates characteristic of earlier generations. Given the low rates of HIV and other markers of risk that were discovered, Friedman et al. concluded that their drug use and sexual networks overlapped little with those already infected.(94) Even the handful of young people we interviewed in Bushwick who admitted that they had used heroin confessed that they were terrified ter·ri·fy  
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.

2. To menace or threaten; intimidate.
 to try it. For example, Boo (born in 1971, interviewed in 1997) had sniffed heroin, but said that the drug had taken a terrible toll on her family and she was petrified pet·ri·fy  
v. pet·ri·fied, pet·ri·fy·ing, pet·ri·fies
1. To convert (wood or other organic matter) into a stony replica by petrifaction.

 of becoming addicted:
      In '95, I tried dope for the first time. I was in my mom's house. I had
   recently moved back there after having broken up with an abusive boyfriend.
   Anyway, I was there and feeling achey. I have a bad hip from an accident
   long ago, and it was paining me on this day. A guy friend (he was around
   29) said that he had something that would take the pain away. When he told
   me that it was dope, I didn't want to do it because I was afraid of
   becoming addicted and had seen what it did to some of my older brothers and
   sisters. But he talked me into it, saying that a little bit wouldn't get me
   addicted. I did a "two and two" [two sniffs up each nostril] and threw up
   all over the place.(95)

The widely reported drop in crack and other hard drug use among inner city youth in the 1990s(96) was, on one hand, an outcome of the natural progression of drug eras,(97) but changes in drug preferences coincided with and were deepened by more fundamental changes in youth culture. Where crack in the 1980s had emptied out the inner city and left neighborhoods and their residents looking like skeletons, the anti-crack/heroin generation of the 1990s sought to fill out their bodies. They visually displayed this attitude in the too-large designer clothing they wore, and through the language of "living large" where everything good was "phat" (fat) and "butter." Still, their style was very much muted, devoid of the garish clothing and gaudy accessories that characterized the crack-era "gangsta Noun 1. gangsta - (Black English) a member of a youth gang
AAVE, African American English, African American Vernacular English, Black English, Black English Vernacular, Black Vernacular, Black Vernacular English, Ebonics - a nonstandard form of American English
" persona.


Rather than fulfilling the prophecy of becoming addicted and remorseless "superpredators," the overwhelming majority of kids who grew up in Bushwick in the late 1980s and early 1990s responded to the multiple threats of violence, crime, AIDS and addiction--as most Americans would likely do--by withdrawing from the danger and opting for the relative safety of family, home, church, and other sheltering institutions which persevered during the most difficult years.(98) However, not all youths were scared into avoiding public spaces and hiding behind closed doors. As an unintended consequence For the 1996 novel by John Ross, see .

Unintended consequences are situations where an action results in an outcome that is not (or not only) what is intended. The unintended results may be foreseen or unforeseen, but they should be the logical or likely results of the
 of the war on drugs, gang life of a type never encountered before revived among a population of convicted drug distributors and users after a long dormancy. Following the massive police initiative that began in September 1992 in which hundreds of neighborhood youth were jailed, sizable chapters of the Latin Kings
See also: Latin kings (disambiguation)

Latin kings of Rome, Alban kings of Rome or kings of Alba Longa, series of legendary kings of Latium and Alba Longa who, in Roman mythology, fill the gap between Aeneas's foundation of Rome and
 and Netas formed and asserted their control over some blocks, especially those where there had been large street-level drag markets and unchecked violence. Predominantly of Puerto Rican descent, they reported that they had experienced a genuine rebirth, and in attempting to reconstitute re·con·sti·tute  
tr.v. re·con·sti·tut·ed, re·con·sti·tut·ing, re·con·sti·tutes
1. To provide with a new structure: The parks commission has been reconstituted.

 their lives, their new goal was to "uplift the Latino community."(99) As former street-level drug workers who had suffered at the hands of their Dominican bosses and the police, they were disillusioned. Though they had long realized their limitations in American society, the sweeping arrests had also taught them the shallowness of the drug distribution organizations which had employed them but had ultimately harmed their families and neighborhoods. The Dominican "owners" did not bail them out of jail, hire lawyers, look after family, or compensate them for the time in prison. They remained indifferent to Puerto Rican sensibilities, although mainly Puerto Ricans suffered the brunt of the war on drugs.
      During my time on Rikers Island, I was going to court. My bail was only
   $5,000. My foster mother spoke to the [Dominican] owner and asked if he
   could bail me out. At that time, I had $10,000 out there in the streets
   that different people owed me. He said, "well, whoever works for me and
   gets arrested has got to be a man. Do the crime, do the time." That right
   there pissed me off. Eventually, I came home. I wanted to get even with
   this guy `cause he played me. All that time, I could have been at home. I
   could have fought the case outside. Five thousand dollars, you're telling
   me that you couldn't bail me out? I don't want to hear that).(100)

For many former street-level drug distributors like Ariel, going to jail--Rikers Island--capped many years of frustration, victimization victimization Social medicine The abuse of the disenfranchised–eg, those underage, elderly, ♀, mentally retarded, illegal aliens, or other, by coercing them into illegal activities–eg, drug trade, pornography, prostitution. , and abuse. In jail, membership in the Latin Kings offered them repudiation of the past and redemption.
      Before I was a King, I was a knucklehead. My temper got me kicked out of
   school. I used to fight a lot with teachers. I used to sell drugs a lot
   inside school. During my time on Rikers Island, I was in the position of
   changing myself: stop selling drugs. I started seeing the light more and
   wanted to follow a more spiritual path. It's not all about selling drugs
   anymore. It's not all about taking. It's all about giving back to the
   community. I took so much, now, it's time to give back. I want to stay in
   the young tribe to help my younger brothers, to let them know that gang
   banging is not the way of life. Believe me, I experienced it, I know it, I
   lived it, and it's time for another path. I tried that path and I failed.
   Now let me try this one.(101)

The Latin Kings solved many of the difficulties of young Puerto Rican men and women who were incarcerated. The most pressing problem was protection from other inmates. For a first-time arrestee ARRESTEE, law of Scotland. He in whose hands a debt, or property in his possession, has been arrested by a regular arrestment. If, in contempt of the arrestment, he shall make payment of the sum, or deliver the goods arrested to the common debtor, he is not only liable criminally for , membership in an organization which applied blanket protection throughout the prison system was a blessing. It bestowed status and prestige, prevented victimization, and allowed disputes with other members to be arbitrated peacefully.

Gang membership was also advantageous on return to civilian life. Where many members' households were chaotic, the gang functioned as an alternative family which prescribed rules and justifications for behavior, thereby bringing order and structure into potentially unmanageable social and emotional situations. The gangs imposed organization, government, and order on marginalized individuals. To break the hold which drug distributors and their lifestyle had held on local youth for so long, the leadership provided realistic alternatives and a strong social support network. Clave clave 1  
v. Archaic
A past tense of cleave1.

clave 2  
v. Archaic
A past tense of cleave2.
, a leader of the Netas, spoke about the lure of drugs on local youth:
      Like myself, I sold, I used. We recognize the difficulty that some
   people have had and what leads them to these things. So, before they go and
   fall, we go and pick them up as quick as possible. In order to help
   somebody, you've got to be more than concerned.(102)

Tapping into the overwhelming sense of chaos, powerlessness, and fear which had gripped neighborhood youth, Latin Kings and Netas projected an unabashedly Puerto Rican image and solution to the problem. The organizations became the rage among Bushwick youth in 1993-94 and membership soared, even among those who had not been front-line participants or victims of the war on drugs. Youth who did not embrace the Latino cause as feverently as Latin Kings and Netas still found themselves attracted to the nationalist symbolism and ideas that percolated through the neighborhood, especially those regarding the importance of family and community, and the long-term destructive effects of violence and drugs. Not coincidentally, the summer of 1993 marked the appearance of the Puerto Rican flag necklace (made from plastic beads) as the must-have clothing accessory among local youth throughout the city. Teaching youths a relatively safe passage through neighborhood mine fields, organizations like the Latin Kings and Netas may well have lowered the level of violence that might have existed in their absence. Paul, a leader of the Netas, explained how they kept members in check.
      Whatever the problem is, I'll talk with them and after that they'll say,
   "you're right, it's not worth it" and they'll leave. And I feel like I've
   done my job, I've stopped a brother from making a wrong decision and
   probably end up hurting somebody and going to jail because he forgot for a
   moment that he's a Neta, that there's other ways to handle things. This is
   what we're taught. We're taught to avoid problems at all costs. If someone
   is going to hurt you, then you have a fight to defend yourself. `Cause
   that's all we are, we're just people like everybody else. But the way we
   fight is with our mouths. We talk our way out of situations. `Cause that's
   not what we're about, we're about living in peace and harmony and improving
   our lives.(103)

In these forms of grass roots grass roots
pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. People or society at a local level rather than at the center of major political activity. Often used with the.

2. The groundwork or source of something.
 socio-cultural and political organizing, lower class/"underclass" youths adapted progressively and more or less composedly to pressures of adolescent development, alterations of family structure and in legal/illegal labor markets.(104) Latin Kings and Netas set new standards of behavior for many neighborhood youth, but with swarms of adolescents clamoring for entry, the organizations had become too popular and unwieldy, and in 1995, they took steps to limit membership.
      Netas became very popular out here a few years ago and a lot of young
   people joined at that time. But a lot of them got taken out of the
   association because they were too young. Others got taken out because they
   weren't up to our standards. There's still great interest in the community
   in becoming a Neta. A lot of people want to join. Every day, about 10 or 20
   people ask me about it. We deny a lot of people entry. Because first we
   have to find out about them. We first find out where they live, we go and
   investigate, we watch them, we see the things that they do, we see if they
   go to school. If they're young, they've got to go to school. We don't
   accept any youth who's not in school. If they're not in school, they've got
   to get into school. Just like an adult, you've got to work. You have to do
   something. Because if he's not doing it, we know that sooner or later he's
   going to be fucking up. And he's going to be getting into drug selling or
   whatever. If a member loses his job and become unemployed, we help him look
   for a job. We're all over the place, so usually we bump into opportunities,
   job openings and stuff like that.(105)

Despite the stated goals of Latin Kings and Netas to uplift the community and transform the lives of young people, violence continued to be an integral part of neighborhood life for many youth, and selling drugs remained one of the only ways to earn money. But even those who continued to sell drugs found that their routines had been dramatically transformed by an altered neighborhood terrain; drug markets were now much more integrated into the community and less violent.


Attacked by the occupying army of police in September 1992, drug business "owners" initially responded by simply replacing low-level workers who were arrested, but greater business losses and violence followed as antagonism between Dominican management and Puerto Rican labor worsened. Most disbanded, while the remainder downsized and moved off the street. New distributors were soon challenging them. As one of the latter commented:
      The police made my business. They created it. Before, there was a line
   of people standing on the street waiting to cop out of the door of a
   building, look-outs up and down the block. Who'd bother to call me on the
   beeper? Wouldn't have to. You could buy it like it was a supermarket. [But
   when the police destroyed them,] they created my business.(106)

Many of the new drug selling organizations which formed or flourished when the monopoly enjoyed by the corporate owners was broken were not simply smaller, more discreet versions of the supermarket vendors, they were qualitatively different. Characterized by transactions that were dependent upon familiarity and trust between participants, undercover police were less able to make drug buys and were forced into tedious surveillance of suspected street-level drug markets (from rooftops, apartment windows or parked vehicles) in the hope of witnessing a sale.

One such new business was run by Bolo, a thirty year old Puerto Rican who grew up in Bushwick and ran a crack selling operation from 1990 to 1996 on the corner of his block, located about six blocks from the main drug supermarket discussed earlier. His business, which employed about twenty-five people, generated about $5,000 per day in sales-average sized by Bushwick standards. Bolo's business had both local and drive-through customers, most of whom were quickly recognized by the workers. The business operated seven days a week, from around 10:00 A.M. until 1:00 or 2:00 A.M. or whenever business got slow, but not around the clock as was the case with corporate sellers.

Bolo and his "associates" were well aware that their business was quite different from the corporate sellers who had dominated street-level sales several blocks to the north. Below, he characterizes the corporate distributors:
      Fishman [Street] is the only international spot where they have Blacks,
   Puerto Ricans, and whites, where everybody's working. Other areas they do
   not. The guys who run Fishman are good, but they're sloppy. So many of
   those guys are in prison from Fishman. Nobody with a mind [works there].
   All they care is "hey, fuck the workers. As long as my money comes...."
   that kind of attitude.(107)

Several of Bolo's associates had formerly worked for the corporate "owners" on Fishman Street. For EZ, a father of five young children, it had been an embittering experience:
      I came home [from prison] about a month ago. While I was gone, my wife
   survived with the help of her mother and stepfather. She was also on public
   assistance. The guys who I worked for had said that if I got locked up that
   they'd look out for her, but they never even gave her a quarter for her to
   call me. They never helped her with anything. She struggled on her own
   until I got home. It's lucky that I put money away to allow her to cope
   with the first few months. If not, we'd probably be living in the street
   right now. As soon as I came home they asked if I wanted to work. I told
   them that I didn't want to work and that since they hadn't helped me while
   I was in prison I knew that they wouldn't help me if I got locked up

Cibo, a manager for Bolo's business, talked with regret about his prior experience working in the area dominated by corporate sellers. The violence and fear that were part and parcel of that arena had turned him into a person that his wife and family scarcely recognized:
      Too many people started coming on that block. The block, you know, the
   street was changing. It wasn't fun anymore. It was getting too dangerous. I
   got stopped twice. I didn't want nobody hanging out in front of the spot. I
   didn't want the police there ever again. You got to protect what is yours,
   man. I had a big disagreement with the Dominicans, so I ran upstairs and
   pulled out a .30-.30, a Winchester, and chased them out to, what is the
   name of that club again? ... I got shot right in front of it. It went
   through my leg. If it wasn't for my daughter's Godfather to jump on top of
   me and cover me, they would have fucked me up. I left. I went to Puerto
   Rico, for like two weeks. I came back, and I started staying home. My wife
   wouldn't let me go out.(109)

Bolo and his associates were careful to be respectful of neighborhood residents, acutely aware that the success of their business was dependent upon their integration into the neighborhood rather than their alienation from it as was the case with the corporate distributors. As Bolo noted:
      This is the suburbs. That's [Fishman St.] like New York, and this is the
   suburbs, do you know what I'm saying? It is quiet, it's peaceful. You got
   people walking.... people who do not buy drugs. I mean, you have people
   walking, you know, shopping. Just mind your business, stay clean, and you
   are okay. So, you don't see no burns or burnt down houses or shit like that
   over here like you do over there. Yeah, you get beautiful  girls over here.
   You have to dress nice because you want to pick up girls. You've got nice
   guys, they park their cars here. They go to work over there, and you see
   the block. There is not that many abandoned cars here. This is the suburbs,
   and that is like a pile of shit down there. And, you know, this is like
   this because I maintain it like this. I demand this to be like this. I
   don't want my workers fucking around with people. Do you notice how many
   people walk by, and not one of these people called the police on my guys?
   You don't disrespect nobody. My guys don't make sales in front of kids or
   wives. You stop, let the customer wait, let the pedestrian pass by, make
   sure it is clear, and then you make your sale. Respect. That is all it is.
   You have to respect people, especially when you are in a dirty game. You
   have to. There is no if, or buts or maybes. Work with me, you have to
   respect, if not, go work for [the owners on] Fishman St. and go to

While corporate distributors had specialized in public displays of violence to keep workers in line, Bolo never used it to reprimand REPRIMAND, punishment. The censure which in some cases a public office pronounces against an offender.
     2. This species of punishment is used by legislative bodies to punish their members or others who have been guilty of some impropriety of conduct towards them.
 employees. He felt that such dramas were unnecessary because he knew his workers so well (including their families) that it was nearly impossible for them to run away with drugs or money. In addition, public violence had the effect of attracting the police and instilling fear rather than building respect among other residents on the block. Below, he describes how he handled problems with workers:
      When Cibo ran off with the profits the other day, I understood why he
   did it. But that's ok. You got to learn to accept it and just carry on. You
   can't get mad. You can never show people you get upset. I tell people,
   "hey, what do you want to do now? You had a good time, and now it's time to
   pay, right?" He said "yeah, yeah." "Are you going to come Friday?" "Yeah,
   I'll be here." He's there. He was a little embarrassed, but he's got to do
   what he's got to do. Better to be embarrassed than dead. That is a very
   ugly word. Being dead is an ugly word. You only get one chance to die.(111)

Unlike corporate owners, Bolo cared about his workers and the neighborhood. He hired only people who lived in the area with their families and carefully scrutinized their motives for wanting to join his organization. He made a conscious effort to stay away from young drug sellers who publicly announced their intention to use drug profits to buy fancy clothes, jewelry, or expensive cars:
      Most of the fellows who work for me need the money. I mean, I'll be
   honest with you, I'm not going to bring in a kid who just needs money to
   buy a pair of sneakers. I will bring a guy with me that has to support his
   family in one way or another. I mean, I told everybody, "nobody is here
   getting rich. All we are doing is surviving. If you know how to save and
   cut corners, you can have all the money to save.(112)

In interviews with his street-level workers, they all voiced similar motivations for working--and none of them sported flashy clothing, jewelry, or other consumer display items which many people thought were characteristic of drug dealers. For example, Robert (nineteen years old in 1995) cited the need to support his mother who lived on welfare as his primary purpose for working:
      It's fucked up because I'm the one ... I knew that my brother really
   wasn't going to take care of my family, you understand, take care of my mom
   and my father. It's that, damn, you know, if she fuckin' put food in your
   mouth, fuckin' fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen
   years--that's your mother! She brought you into this world. You're supposed
   to help her when she needs it. He doesn't help her; that's my brother and
   everything, he's a selfish bastard! He only thinks of himself.(113)

An eighteen-year-old worker, Mano ma·no  
n. pl. ma·nos
A hand-held stone or roller for grinding corn or other grains on a metate.

[Spanish, hand, mano, from Latin manus, hand; see manner.]
, also contributed heavily to his family's household income. His unemployed father, Manuel, feared for Mano's safety and often sat nearby whenever Mano worked to "watch his back."
      I live in an apartment in this building with my wife and two kids. I
   seen 'em grow here. Two boys, fifteen and eighteen. You interviewed the
   eighteen year old. He gets hung up with all this (pointing to the street).
   I try to keep my eye on him. They don't steal it from nobody, that's one
   thing. It's [dealing drugs] still bad, you know. The only thing I say [to
   the police is], "take him if he's done something wrong." But you don't have
   to beat on him, knock him all silly.

      The guys that work out here work hard in a way, but it's still wrong. I
   got my own opinions. Nobody puts a gun to nobody to use drugs. But the law
   says that's a law.... I just say not to mistreat them, that's all. That's
   the only thing that gets to me, the hitting, the way they treat them. If
   they've got them, put the handcuffs on them and take them away and do what
   you have to do. But why abuse them, start punching on them, kicking them on
   the floor? I don't know what to do. I'm here (sitting on the stoop) because
   of him. I know they're gonna take him on me, sooner or later.(114)

By 1996, with crack sales continuing to decline throughout the neighborhood, Bolo decided to get out of the drug business. With a wife and eighteen-month old son, he wanted a life for his family that did not include the constant threat of arrest or violent confrontation in the street. His wife found an office job in Manhattan and he found a security job in the neighborhood. Giving up his claim to the corner, he advised his younger associates to get out of the business and pursue legitimate jobs or complete their education. When Dominican crack dealers moved in to assert control over his once-lucrative spot, several of Bolo's workers signed on with them for a short period of time. Frenchy was arrested within one week and plea-bargained a sentence of two to four years in prison. After getting arrested and spending a short time in jail, Robert found a job as a messenger on Wall Street and then shocked his friends by falling into a well-paying job at a brokerage house. Mano, after one arrest, and under pressure from his parents, girlfriend, and probation officer probation officer
1. An official usually attached to a juvenile court and charged with the care of juvenile delinquents.

2. An official charged with supervising convicts at large on suspended sentence or probation.
, gave up dealing drugs and began to spend increasing amounts of time inside the house, watching TV and listening to music. Cibo moved out of the neighborhood and took a construction job. Twin, a beefy beefy, beefyness

1. in dog conformation, used to describe overdevelopment of musculature in the hindquarters.

2. in cattle, used to designate the desirable physical conformation of a beef animal, but an undesirable character in dairy cattle.
 seventeen year old, had sold part-time for Bolo when he was laid off from his job as a stockboy in a shoe store on Grand Street in Williamsburg, but when Bolo quit, Twin went back to searching for legitimate employment.

Even after they quit the business, Bolo and several former associates continued to get arrested. The decline in crime in New York City Crime in New York City has been a concern of residents since the 19th century. Crime rates spiked in the 1980s and early 1990s, as the crack epidemic hit New York City, but have drastically reduced since then.

Out of 216 U.S.
 had not been accompanied by fewer arrests, but paradoxically, by more arrests.(115) After having built up armies of specialized squads in the last decade, the police had an empire to maintain, and with fewer criminals to apprehend they nevertheless continued to manufacture "statistics" at an unprecedented rate. Following Kelling and Coles' advice,(116) the NYPD NYPD New York City Police Department (since 1845; New York City, NY, USA)
NYPD New York Play Development
 began concentrating on low-level offenses as "a means of restraining `wannabes Wannabes is an online interactive soap and game created for the BBC by Illumna Digital. Wannabes follows on from Jamie Kane, the BBC's previous foray into online interactive drama. The show/game consists of 14 10 minute episodes released twice a week. ,' the less-dedicated-to-crime friends and associates of repeat offenders. Many in this group, if pressured, or if schools and police pressure their parents, ultimately will change their behavior to conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
fit, meet

coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well"
 more appropriate and decent standards."

But by arresting Bolo and his former associates, the police locked up the converted, the "had beens" rather than the "wannabes," and thereby endangered the very transformation they sought to achieve.

In summary, the reconfiguration of drug markets in the mid-1990s appreciably reduced the level of neighborhood violence. As distribution retired indoors, turf battles were eliminated. Since organizers of drug businesses hired a few trusted friends rather than easily replaceable workers, there was less conflict between them. Distributors were robbed by users less frequently because they were more protected selling indoors to known customers. Like other neighborhood residents, drug distributors and users had also adapted and contributed to dramatic changes in neighborhood conditions.


The future of inner-cities in the global economy of the approaching millennium does not appear particularly bright. The residents of inner city neighborhoods did not share equally in the fruits of the economic revitalization of the 1990s which created new (though less secure and rewarding) jobs and low unemployment, and led to an optimism not seen since the post-WWII economy of the 1950s. For inner city residents, the economy did not promise prosperity, security, or upward mobility upward mobility
The state of being upwardly mobile.

upward mobility

movement from a lower to a higher economic and social status
, but rather, more unemployment, underemployment and substantially less help from local, state, and federal agencies to combat poverty and its effects. But in spite of their marginalized status and bleak prospects, many inner city residents not only forestalled their expected slide into economic ruin and social disintegration In sociology, social disintegration is the tendency for society to decline or disintegrate over time, perhaps due to the lapse or breakdown of traditional social support systems. , but also confounded the schools of economic, cultural, and genetic determinism Genetic determinism is the belief that genes determine physical and behavioral phenotypes. The term may be applied to the mapping of a single gene to a single phenotype or to the belief that most or all phenotypes are determined mostly or exclusively by genes.  that had predicted a steady march toward oblivion. They showed a new vitality, graphically illustrated by precipitous drops in crime and violence.

Yet many scholars, journalists, and policy makers continue to believe that poor people are incapable of helping themselves, much less their communities, and the urge to explain their turnaround on external factors is great. The most popular of these unidimensional explanations is that innovations in policing (especially in the area of technology) are driving the extraordinary transformation of inner city neighborhoods.(117) With great fanfare Mayor Giuliani and the New York City Police Department introduced their "quality of life" campaign as the keystone ingredient in turning the city around. They hammered this message home to the public and the media, but most urgently, to rank and file police officers who were instructed to aggressively pursue even the most petty offense A minor crime, the maximum punishment for which is generally a fine or a short term in a prison or a house of correction.

In some states, a petty offense is a classification in addition to misdemeanor and felony.
, like jaywalking, riding bicycles on sidewalks, loitering, trespassing, or drinking beer in public. They contended that by concentrating on the "little things, the big things will take care of themselves," but with fewer serious crimes occurring and drug distributors more difficult to catch, police were simply left with the lesser ones. As one journalist had noted,
   Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be arrested these days.
   Although major crimes are down in the city, arrests are up, way up. Under
   Mayor Giuliani's crackdown on `quality of life' crimes, the police have
   arrested 21 percent [sic] more people this year than last year. Mostly for
   the little things.(118)

While aggressive policing certainly resulted in a reluctance by many people to linger in public spaces, including the reviled "obstreperous youth" who were said to spoil neighborhood civility,(119) it can hardly account for the profound changes which occurred in the daily lives of inner-city residents.

The combination of factors which precipitated inner-city change vary from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood. In New York City, for example, rapidly declining rates of crime and violence, the hallmarks of this urban renaissance Urban renaissance is a term used to describe the recent period of repopulation and regeneration of many British cities, including, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, and parts of London after a period of suburbanisation during the mid-20th century. , have been observed in every neighborhood, not simply those where conditions had become intolerable. To disentangle and account for the multiple influences which frame behavior and the choices people make, it is useful to examine the intimate contexts where people learn to become human and construct their lives--families, social networks, workplaces and communities. Regardless of the constellation of variables which precipitated the startling turnaround observed in inner-city neighborhoods, the capacity of people to alter their everyday lives and confound the "experts" has been highlighted in the current period. After being socially, culturally, economically, politically, and physically stripped, demolished, and deconstructed for more than thirty years, northeast Brooklyn was ripe for rebuilding in the 1990s. In Bushwick, where neighborhood conditions had become intolerable, young people were at the forefront of this effort. They responded to the multiple threats against their daily lives and futures by repudiating those elements which endangered them: unchecked street-level drug markets, out-of-control violence, and hard drugs. The palpable change which washed over the neighborhood beginning in 1993 was initiated and carried through by young residents who, though far from uniform in their responses to those dangers, shared a conviction that they would not succumb to the same fate that nearly erased the preceding generation. In altering their own lives, they shattered the myth that they were powerless against a "criminogenic" environment which was said to mass-produce superpredators, and threw into question the canon that violence must beget be·get  
tr.v. be·got , be·got·ten or be·got, be·get·ting, be·gets
1. To father; sire.

2. To cause to exist or occur; produce: Violence begets more violence.

Life in the postmodern global economy is one in which identity formation is less dependent upon the influence of family, neighborhood, race/ethnicity, nationality and history,(120) and more than anywhere else, the inner-city is an empty canvas, an urban frontier where new structures, institutions and conventions are waiting to be built. Where the unprecedented changes that the current generation have begun are going, and whether they can be sustained is uncertain, but the outcome is by no means predetermined. In the face of the many obstacles which inner-city residents must still overcome, our failure to recognize and reward their struggle to build a better world may yet prove the naysayers right.

(1) Kirk Johnson This article is about the professional boxer. For the shock image, see goatse.

Kirk Johnson (born June 29, 1972) is a professional heavyweight boxer from North Preston, Nova Scotia, Canada.
, Washington Steps Back, and Cities Recover, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 16, 1997, [sections] 4 at 5.

(2) Fox Butterfield Fox Butterfield (born 1939 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania[1]) is an American journalist who spent much of his 30-year career[2] reporting for The New York Times. , Number of Victims of Crime Fell Again in '96, Study Says: Lowest Level Since Reports Began in 1973, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 16, 1997, at 118; Clifford Krauss, New York Crime Rate Plummets to Levels Not Seen in 30 Years, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 20, 1996, at A1.

(3) See, e. g., ELIJAH ANDERSON Elijah Anderson is an American sociologist and ethnographer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His work in urban sociology and inequality has gained him a reputation as an influential scholar in his field. , STREETWISE street·wise  
Having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous urban environment.
: RACE, CLASS, AND CHANGE IN AN URBAN COMMUNITY 57-69 (1990); WILLIAM J. BENNETT ET AL., BODY COUNT: MORAL POVERTY ... AND HOW TO WIN AMERICA'S WAR AGAINST CRIME AND DRUGS 18-25 (1996); DALE D. CHITWOOD ET AL., THE AMERICAN PIPE DREAM: CRACK COCAINE AND THE INNER CITY ix-xii (1996); FELIX PADILLA, THE GANG AS AN AMERICAN ENTERPRISE 1-10 (1992); Jeffrey Fagan, The Social Organization of Drug Use and Drug Dealing Among Urban Gangs, 27 CRIMINOLOGY 633, 659-62 (1989); Bruce D. Johnson et al., Drug Abuse in the Inner City: Impact on Hard Drug Users and the Community, in 13 DRUGS AND CRIME 9, 9-11 (Michael Tonry & James Q. Wilson James Q. Wilson (born May 27, 1931) in Denver, Colorado is the Ronald Reagan professor of public policy at Pepperdine University in California, and a professor emeritus at UCLA. From 1961 to 1987 he was a professor of government at Harvard University. He has a Ph.D.  eds., 1990); Thomas Mieczkowski, The Operational Styles of Crack Houses in Detroit, in DRUGS AND VIOLENCE: CAUSES, CORRELATES, AND CONSEQUENCES 60-91 (NIDA NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIDA National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Australia)
NIDA Northern Ireland Development Agency (UK)
NIDA Northern Ireland Dairy Association
 Research Monograph 103) (Mario De La Rosa De La Rosa is a surname in the Spanish language meaning of the Rose
  • Pedro de la Rosa
  • Jorge de la Rosa
  • Rogelio de la Rosa
  • Nelson de la Rosa
  • Lidia de la Rosa
 et al. eds., 1990); Wesley G. Skogan, Social Change and the Future of Violent Crime, in I VIOLENCE IN AMERICA 235, 235-50 (T.R. Gurr ed., 1989); Rodrick Wallace & Deborah Wallace Deborah Wallace is a Scottish born actress and playwright. Plays include Psyche based on the life of James Miranda Barry.

[1] [2]
, Contagious Urban Decay and the Collapse of Public Health, 21 HEALTH/PAC BULLETIN 13, 1318 (1991). Cf. JAMES A. INCIARDI ET AL., WOMEN AND CRACK-COCAINE 11-12 (1993).

(4) See, e.g., BENNETT ET AL., supra A relational DBMS from Cincom Systems, Inc., Cincinnati, OH ( that runs on IBM mainframes and VAXs. It includes a query language and a program that automates the database design process.  note 3, at 26-33; RICHARD CLOWARD & LLOYD OHLIN, DELINQUENCY AND OPPORTUNITY: A THEORY OF DELINQUENT GANGS 146-49 (1960); Ramiro Martinez Ramiro "Ray" Martinez (born 1937) was one of the two Austin Police Department officers (with Houston McCoy) credited with killing sniper Charles Whitman at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966.  Jr., Latinos and Lethal Violence. The Impact of Poverty and Inequality, 43 SOC. PROBS. 131, 132 (1996); Walter Miller Walter Miller refer to:
  • James Walter Miller, KGB-Agent
  • Walter B. Miller (1920-2004), American anthropologist
  • Walter Dale Miller (b. 1925), American politician
  • Walter M. Miller, Jr.
, Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency, 14 J. SOC. ISSUES 5, 5-19 (1958); Cathy Spatz Widom, Does Violence Beget Violence? A Critical Examination of the Literature, 106 PSYCHOL. BULL. 3, 3-28 (1989).

(5) See, e.g., JOHN HAGEDORN John Hagedorn is the associate professor of criminal justice and director of the Kenneth B. Clark Center for the Study of Violence in Communities. History
Hagedorn was born in Milwaukee and was raised in the smaller town of Clintonville, population 4,500.
 & PERRY MACON, PEOPLE AND FOLKS: GANGS, CRIME, AND THE UNDERCLASS IN A RUSTBELT CITY 150-63 (1988); MARVIN MARVIN - U Dortmund, 1984. Applicative language based on Modula-2, enhanced by signatures (grammars) terms (trees) and attribute couplings (functions on trees). Used for specification of language translators.  E. WOLFGANG & FRANCO FERRACUTI, THE SUBCULTURE OF VIOLENCE: TOWARD AN INTEGRATED THEORY IN CRIMINOLOGY 296-300 (1967); Jack Gladstein et al., A Comparison of Inner-City and Upper-Middle Class Youths' Exposure to Violence, 13 J. ADOLESCENT HEALTH 275, 279 (1992).

(6) See e.g., FREDA ADLER, SISTERS IN CRIME: THE RISE OF THE NEW FEMALE CRIMINAL 1-3 (1975); ANNE CAMPBELL Anne Campbell (born April 6, 1940) is an English politician. She was the Labour member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge from 1992 to 2005. Campbell was often seen riding her bike around the Cambridge constituency and was the first MP to run a website. , THE GIRLS IN THE GANG: A REPORT FROM NEW YORK CITY 4-32 (1984); INCIARDI ET AL., supra note 3, at 19-21; IRVING A. SPERGEL, THE YOUTH GANG PROBLEM: A COMMUNITY APPROACH, 10 (1995); D. KELLY WEISBERG, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT: A STUDY OF ADOLESCENT PROSTITUTION 110 (1985); Deborah Baskin et al., The Political Economy of Violent Female Street Crime, 20 FORDHAM URB URB USB (Universal Serial Bus) Request Block
URB Urbanización (district; postcode use, Puerto Rico)
URB University Radio Bath (UK)
URB Upright Bass
. L.J. 401,401-03 (1993); Philippe Bourgois Philippe Bourgois (b. 1956) is a Richard Perry University Professor of Anthropology & Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has conducted research in Central America on ethnicity and social unrest and is the author of , In Search of Horatio Alger: Culture and Ideology in the Crack Economy, 16 CONTEMP. DRUG PROBS. 619, 643-45 (1989); Anne Campbell, Female Participation in Gangs, in GANGS IN AMERICA 163, 166-77 (Ronald Huff ed. 1990); Michelle Cooley-Quille et al., Emotional Impact of Children's Exposure to Community Violence: A Preliminary Study, 34 J. AM. AC. AD. CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY 1362, 1362-63 (1995); Richard Dembo et al., The Relationship Between Cocaine Use, Drug Sales, and Other Delinquency Among a Cohort of High-Risk Youths Over Time, in DRUGS AND VIOLENCE: CAUSES, CORRELATES, AND CONSEQUENCES, supra note 3, at 112-35; Malcolm W. Klein, Offence Specialisation and Versatility Among Juveniles, 24 BRIT. J. CRIMINOLOGY 185, 192 (1984); Clyde B. McCoy et al., Youth Opiate opiate /opi·ate/ (o´pe-it)
1. any drug derived from opium.

2. hypnotic (2).

 Use, in YOUTH OPIATE USE: PROBLEMS, ISSUES, AND TREATMENT 353, 358 (George M. Beshner & A.S. Friedman eds., 1979); Wayne S. Wooden, Tagger Crews and Members of the Posse, in THE MODERN GANG READER 67-68 (Malcolm W. Klein et al., eds. 1995); Eloise Dunlap & Bruce D. Johnson, Who They Are and What They Do: Female Crack Dealers in New York City, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, New Orleans New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded  2 (Sept. 14, 1992) (unpublished manuscript, on file with The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology).

(7) See, e.g., JAMES A. FOX, TRENDS IN JUVENILE VIOLENCE: A REPORT TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY United States Attorneys (also known as federal prosecutors) represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. There are 93 U.S.  GENERAL ON CURRENT AND FUTURE RATES OF JUVENILE OFFENDING 1-3 (1996); MARVIN E. WOLFGANG ET AL., FROM BOY TO MAN, FROM DELINQUENCY TO CRIME 195-202 (1987); Alfred Blumstein Alfred Blumstein is an American scientist and the professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research at the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known as one of the top researchers in criminology and operations research. , Youth Violence, Guns, and the Illicit Drug illicit drug Street drug, see there  Trade, 86 J. CRIM CRIM Criminal
CRIM Computer Research Institute of Montreal
CRIM Centro de Recaudación de Ingresos Municipales (Municipal Internal Revenue Center, San Juan)
CRIM Centre de Recherche en Ingénierie Multilingue
. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 19, 19-20 (1995).

(8) Mike Collison, In Search of the High Life: Drugs, Crime, Masculinities and Consumption, 36 BRIT. J. CRIMINOLOGY 428, 441 (1996); cf. ANTHONY GIDDENS Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens (born January 18, 1938) is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern contributors in the field of sociology, the author of , MODERNITY AND SELF-IDENTITY 152-53 (1991); DANIEL MILLER People called Daniel Miller include:
  • Daniel Miller (footballer) footballer for London Stonewall Lions
  • Daniel Miller (anthropologist) (born 1954), anthropologist at University College London

(9) BENNETT ET AL., supra note 3, at 25.

(10) See, e.g., WILLIAM J. WILSON, THE TRULY DISADVANTAGED: THE INNER CITY, THE UNDERCLASS, AND PUBLIC POLICY 58-62 (1987); Thomas J. Bernard, Angry Aggression Among the "Truly Disadvantaged," 28 CRIMINOLOGY 73, 87-88 (1990); Bruce P. Dohrenwend et al., Socioeconomic Status and Psychiatric Disorders: The Causation-Selection Issue, 255 SCI (Scalable Coherent Interface) An IEEE standard for a high-speed bus that uses wire or fiber-optic cable. It can transfer data up to 1GBytes/sec.

(hardware) SCI - 1. Scalable Coherent Interface.

2. UART.
. 946, 946-47 (1992); Kevin Fitzpatrick Kevin Fitzpatrick is a Gaelic football player from County Laois in Ireland.

He plays his club football for Portlaoise and is also a member of the Laois senior team.
 & Janet Boldizar, The Prevalence and Consequences of Exposure to Violence Among African-American Youth, 32 J. AM. ACAD ACAD Academy
ACAD Academic
ACAD AutoCAD (design/drafting development software by Autodesk)
ACAD Acadia National Park (US National Park Service)
ACAD Atherosclerotic Coronary Artery Disease
. CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY 424, 424-25 (1993); Joy Osofsky, The Effects of Exposure to Violence on Young Children, 50 AM. PSYCHOLOGIST 782, 783 (1995); Carmen N. Velez & Jane A. Ungemack, Drug Use Among Puerto Rican Youth: An Exploration of Generational Status Differences, 29 SOC. SCI. & MED. 779, 781 (1989).

(11) Mercer Sullivan, Violence in Early Adolescence: Events and Development, paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, Ill. 5 (1996) (unpublished manuscript, on file with The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology).

(12) Samuel R. Friedman et al., Community Development as a Response to HIV among Drug Injectors, 7 AIDS 92/93--A YEAR IN REVIEW s263, s267 (Supp. 1, 1993).

(13) See, e.g., LISA The first personal computer to include integrated software and use a graphical interface. Modeled after the Xerox Star and introduced in 1983 by Apple, it was ahead of its time, but never caught on due to its $10,000 price and slow speed.  MAHER, SEXED WORK: GENDER, RACE AND RESISTANCE IN A BROOKLYN DRUG MARKET 201 (1997); PAUL E. WILLIS, LEARNING TO LABOUR: HOW WORKING CLASS KIDS GET WORKING CLASS JoBs 171-79 (1977).

(14) See, e.g., DAVID David, in the Bible
David, d. c.970 B.C., king of ancient Israel (c.1010–970 B.C.), successor of Saul. The Book of First Samuel introduces him as the youngest of eight sons who is anointed king by Samuel to replace Saul, who had been deemed a failure.
 FARBER, CHICAGO 68, at 218-19 (1988).

(15) See, e.g., Bourgois, supra note 6, at 61946; Thomas Mieczkowski, Geeking Up and Throwing Down: Heroin Street Life in Detroit, 24 CRIMINOLOGY 645, 645-64 (1986); see also MAHER, supra note 13, at 83-87; MERCER SULLIVAN, GETTING PAID: YOUTH CRIME AND WORK IN THE INNER CITY 3-8 (1989); see generally PATRICIA PATRICIA Practical Algorithm To Retrieve Information Coded In Alphanumeric
PATRICIA Proving and Testability for Reliability Improvement of Complex Integrated Architectures
PATRICIA PApilloma TRIal Cervical cancer In young Adults
 A. ADLER, WHEELING AND DEALING wheeling and dealing

shrewd and sometimes unscrupulous moves made in order to advance one's own interests

wheeler-dealer n
: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF AN UPPER LEVEL DRUG DEALING AND SMUGGLING smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain  COMMUNITY (1985); JOAN MOORE, HOMEBOYS (1978); TERRY WILLIAMS
For the Welsh Drummer, see Terry Williams (Drummer). For the environmental activist, see Terry Tempest Williams.

Terry Williams (born 6 June 1947, Hollywood, California) is an American singer-songwriter.

(16) Cf. CONRAD Conrad, Latin king of Jerusalem
Conrad, d. 1192, Latin king of Jerusalem (1192), marquis of Montferrat, a leading figure in the Third Crusade (see Crusades). He saved Tyre from the Saracens and became (1187) its lord.
 M. ARENSBERG & SOLON Solon, Athenian statesman
Solon (sō`lən), c.639–c.559 B.C., Athenian statesman, lawgiver, and reformer. He was also a poet, and some of his patriotic verse in the Ionic dialect is extant. At some time (perhaps c.600 B.C.

(17) See, e.g., George Dalton, Theoretical Issues in Economic Anthropology, 10 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Current Anthropology, published by the University of Chicago Press and sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, is a peer-reviewed journal founded in 1959 by the anthropologist Sol Tax (1907-1995).  63, 63-65 (1969); Karl Polanyi, The Economy as Instituted Process, in TRADE AND MARKET IN EARLY EMPIRES 243, 243-50 (Karl Polyani, et al., eds. 1957).

(18) SULLIVAN, supra note 15, at 108.

(19) These projects include: Community AIDS Prevention Outreach Demonstration (National Institute on Drug Abuse #DA06723), The Community Effects of Street-Level Narcotics Enforcement: A Study of the New York City Police Department's Tactical Narcotics Teams (National Institute of Justice), The Ecology of Crime and Drug Use in American Cities: Social Structure and Neighborhood Dynamics (Social Science Research Council), Social Factors and HIV Risk (NIDA #DA 06723), HIV Risk Among Youth (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases #A134723), Latin Kings and Gang Violence (Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation was established by Harry Guggenheim to support research on violence, aggression, and dominance.

The foundation writes: "He was convinced that solid, thoughtful, scholarly and scientific research, experimentation, and analysis would in
), The Natural History of Crack Distribution (NIDA #DA05126-05), Drug Use and HIV Risk Among Youth (NIDA #DA10411), and Heroin in the 21st Century (NIDA #DA10105-02). Due to the nature of this research, pseudonyms have been assigned to the sources quoted, to protect anonymity as promised.

(20) Social Factors and HIV Risk (NIDA #06723).

(21) See, Jonathan Crane, Effects of Neighborhoods on Dropping Out of School and Teenage Childbearing, in THE URBAN UNDERCLASS 299, 318-19 (Christopher Jencks & Paul E. Peterson Paul E. Peterson is a leading scholar on education reform.[1] His work has largely focused on the importance of parental choice for improving school outcomes. He is Editor-In-Chief of Education Next  eds., 1991); Adele Harrell & Paul E. Peterson, Introduction: Inner-City Isolation and Opportunity, to DRUGS, CRIME AND SOCIAL ISOLATION: BARRIERS TO URBAN OPPORTUNITY 7 (Adele Harrell & Paul E. Peterson eds., 1992).

(22) Susan D. Greenbaum, Housing Abandonment in Inner-City Black Neighborhoods: A Case Study of the Effects of the Dual Housing Market, in THE CULTURAL MEANING OF URBAN SPACE 139, 140 (Robert Rotenberg & Gary McDonogh eds., 1993).

(23) See, e.g., EDWARD C. BANFIELD Edward C. Banfield (1916-1999) was a distinguished political scientist, best known as the author of The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (1958), and The Unheavenly City (1970). , THE UNHEAVENLY CITY: THE NATURE AND FUTURE OF OUR URBAN CRISIS 53-54 (1970); GERALD SUTTLES, SOCIAL ORDER OF THE SLUM: ETHNICITY AND TERRITORY IN THE INNER-CITY 3-12 (1968); Oscar Lewis Oscar Lewis (born Lefkowitz, December 25, 1914, New York City- died December 16, 1970) was an American anthropologist. He introduced the concept of culture of poverty. , The Culture of Poverty, 215 Sca. AM. 19, 21 (1966); see generally DOUGLAS G. GLASCOW, THE BLACK UNDERCLASS: POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND ENTRAPMENT entrapment, in law, the instigation of a crime in the attempt to obtain cause for a criminal prosecution. Situations in which a government operative merely provides the occasion for the commission of a criminal act (e.g.  OF GHETTO YOUTH (1980).

(24) BENNETT ET AL., supra note 3, at 14.

(25) Johnson et al., supra note 3, at 10-11.


For other people named David Rowe, see David Rowe (disambiguation).
David C. Rowe (27 September 1949 – 2 February 2003) was an American psychology professor known for his work studying genetic and environmental influences on adolescent onset
 & D. Wayne Osgood, Heredity heredity, transmission from generation to generation through the process of reproduction in plants and animals of factors which cause the offspring to resemble their parents. That like begets like has been a maxim since ancient times.  and Sociological Theories of Delinquency: A Reconsideration, 49 AM. SOC. REV. 526, 537-38 (1984).

(27) See, e.g., SASKIA SASSEN-KOOB, THE MOBILITY OF LABOR AND CAPITAL: A STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT AND LABOR FLOW 17-24 (1988); John D. Kasarda John D. “Jack” Kasarda (born 1945) is an American academic focused on global management strategy, entrepreneurship and economic development. He is currently the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , The Severely Distressed in Economically Transforming Cities, in DRUGS, CRIME AND SOCIAL ISOLATION: BARRIERS TO URBAN OPPORTUNITY, supra note 21 at 65-74; Paul E. Peterson, The Urban Underclass and the Poverty Paradox, in THE URBAN UNDERCLASS, supra note 21, at 3, 15-25; Wallace & Wallace, supra note 3, at 13, 13-18. Cf. ALEJANDRO PORTES Alejandro Portes is a prominent Cuban-American sociologist. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. He is currently head of the department of sociology at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Science. , THE NEW SECOND GENERATION 5 (1996).


(29) Harrell & Peterson, supra note 21, at 5.

(30) Kasarda, supra note 27, at 71.

(31) Jeffrey Fagan, Drug Selling and Licit Income in Distressed Neighborhoods: The Economic Lives of Street-Level Drug Users and Dealers, in DRUGS, CRIME AND SOCIAL ISOLATION: BARRIERS TO URBAN OPPORTUNITY, supra note 21, at 99, 103; cf. SULLIVAN, supra note 15, at 214-15.

(32) J. David Greenstone green·stone  
Any of various altered basic igneous rocks colored green by chlorite, hornblende, or epidote.


NZ a type of green jade used for Maori carvings and ornaments

, Culture, Rationality, and the Underclass, in THE URBAN UNDERCLASS, supra note 21, at 399, 403.

(33) See generally Peter Marcuse, Abandonment, Gentrification, and Displacement: The Linkages in New York City, in GENTRIFICATION OF THE CITY 153 (Neil Smith The name Neil Smith may refer to: Politics
  • Neal Edward Smith (born 1920), U.S. Representative from Iowa
  • Neil Smith (cricketer) (born 1967), English cricket player
 & Peter Williams, eds. 1986).

(34) Fox Butterfield, Reason for Dramatic Drop in Crime Puzzles the Experts, N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 29, 1998, at 16.


(36) See, e.g., Joanne Koslofsky, Migration's Motor: Postwar Modernization, in DRUGS AND DRUG ABUSE: A READER 151, 152 (Ansley Hamid ed. 1990); Saskia Sassen-Koob, New York City's Informal Economy, in THE INFORMAL ECONOMY: STUDIES IN ADVANCED AND LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES 00, 60-62 (Alejandro Portes et al. eds. 1989).

(37) Kasarda, supra note 27 at 72; John H. Mollenkopf & Manuel Castells, Introduction to DUAL CITY: RESTRUCTURING NEW YORK 3, 6-8 (John H. Mollenkopf & Manuel Castells, eds. 1991).

(38) Thomas W. Ennis, Brooklyn Walkups Rehabilitated, N. Y. TIMES, Sept. 22, 1965, at 39.

(39) Guy Trebay, The Giglio, THE NEW YORKER, June 4, 1990, at 78, 87; Richard Curtis & Lisa Maher, The Origin of Highly Structured Crack Markets on the Southside of Williamsburg; Brooklyn 8 (1995) (Unpublished manuscript prepared for publication under contract with the Social Science Research Council and the Guggenheim Foundation Working Group on the Ecology of Crime and Drugs, on file with The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology).

(40) Martin Gottlieb, In Bushwick, A Project Called Hope, N.Y. TIMES, August 15, 1993, at 35; Pamela Newkirk & Manuel Perez-Rivas, Fire in Their Eyes, Decay Gives Way to Despair, N.Y. NEWSDAY, July 12, 1992, at 6; Alan S. Oser, The Quest for Shops Below Bushwick E1, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 27, 1994, at E7.

(41) James C. McKinley, Jr., Friendships and Fear Undermine a Will to Fight Drugs in Brooklyn, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 18, 1989, at B1; Mary B.W. Tabor, The World of a Drug Bazaar, Where Hope Has Burned Out, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 1, 1992, at A1; Mary B.W. Tabor, Where the Drug Culture Rules, Neighborhood Symbolizing City, State, and National Failure, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 2, 1992, at B1.

(42) See Curtis & Maher, supra note 39, at 16-19; Wallace & Wallace, supra note 3, at 14-15.

(43) Interview with Carmela, conducted at the CAPOD Research storefront, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Aug. 14, 1988).

(44) Edward Preble & John J. Casey John Joseph Casey (May 26 1875 – May 5 1929) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

John J. Casey was born in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania.
 Jr., Taking Care of Business: The Heroin User's Life on the Street, 4 INT'L J. ADDICTIONS 1, 4-5 (1969); Curtis & Maher, supra note 39, at 35.

(45) See Randy Young Paul, Where the Drugs Are, SOHO Soho (sōhō`, sə–), district of Westminster, London, England, known for its continental restaurants. Once a fashionable quarter, it became popular among writers and artists in the 19th cent.  WEEKLY NEWS, Oct. 7, 1976, at 4; Curtis & Maher, supra note 39 at 29-33; see generally Preble & Casey, supra note 44, at 8-14 (explaining the complexity of heroin distribution in New York City).

(46) Curtis & Maher, supra note 39, at 38-39.

(47) Id. at 47.

(48) See Lisa Maher & Richard Curtis, In Search of the Female Gangsta, in THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND WOMEN: OFFENDERS, VICTIMS, AND WORKERS 147, 154-55 (Barbara Raffel Price & Natalie J. Sokoloff eds., 1982).

(49) Id. at 155.

(50) Lisa W. Foderaro, A Metamorphosis for Old Williamsburg, N.Y. TIMES, July 19, 1987.

(51) See Martin Gansberg, Williamsburg Violence Reflects Tension in Area, N.Y. TIMES, June 30, 1970, at 45; Margot Hornblower, Cultures Clash, LIBERTY, Mar./Apr. 1988, at 23, 23-25; Edmund Newton, Tension in Williamsburg-Housing for Whom?, N.Y. DAILY POST MAG., Dec. 22, 1976, at 27.

(52) Oser, supra note 40, at E7.

(53) Richard Curtis & Michelle Sviridoff, The Social Organization of Street-Level Drug Markets and Its Impact on the Displacement Effect, in CRIME DISPLACEMENT: THE OTHER SIDE OF PREVENTION 155, 160 (Robert P. McNamara ed., 1994).

(54) Interview with Robert, a heroin injector, conducted at the SFHR research store-front (May 31, 1991).

(55) Richard Curtis et al., Street Level Drug Markets: Network Structure and HIV Risk, 17 Soc. NETWORKS 229, 231-32 (1995).

(56) Id. at 231.

(57) Richard Curtis & Ansley Hamid, Neighborhood Violence in New York City and Indigenous Attempts to Contain It: The Mediating Role of the Third Crown (Sgt. at Arms) of the Latin Kings, in INTEGRATING CULTURAL, OBSERVATIONAL, AND EPIDEMIOLOGICAL APPROACHES IN THE PREVENTION OF DRUG ABUSE AND HIV/AIDS: CURRENT STATUS AND PROSPECTS (National Institute on Drug Abuse ed., forthcoming 1999)(manuscript at 5, on file with The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology).

(58) See Paul J. Goldstein, The Drugs/Violence Nexus: A Tripartite Conceptual Framework, 15 J. DRUG ISSUES 493, 497-502 (1985); see generally Ansley Hamid, From Ganja Ganja: see Gyandzha, Azerbaijan.  to Crack: Caribbean Participation in the Underground Economy in Brooklyn, 1976.1986, Part 2: Establishment of the Cocaine (and Crack) Economy, 26 INT'L J. ADDICTIONS 729 (1991).

(59) Goldstein, supra note 58, at 503.

(60) Hamid, supra note 57, at 729.

(61) WILLIAMS, supra note 15, at 14-16.

(62) See MAILER, supra note 13 at 94-95; Lisa Maher & Richard Curtis, Women on the Edge of Crime: Crack Cocaine and the Changing Contexts of Street-Level Sex Work in New York City, 18 CRIME L. & SOC. CHANGE 221, 221-51 (1992); Curtis & Maher, supra note 39, at 48-50.

(63) Jose (Nov. 1991) (unpublished manuscripts, on file with author).

(64) Orlando (Nov. 1991) (unpublished manuscript, on file with author); [Editor's note: Both authors were students at John Jay College, who were writing about drugs in their neighborhoods, which for each was Bushwick, New York. Professor Curtis promised both students anonymity in their papers.]

(65) Interview with Henry, Puerto Rican heroin seller, at the SFHR storefront in Bushwick, N.Y. (Mar. 20, 1992). Maher & Curtis, supra note 62, at 156.

(67) Interview with Doc, an African-American heroin seller, at the SFHR storefront in Bushwick, N.Y. (Mar. 26, 1992).

(68) Interview with Jose, a Puerto Rican heroin seller, at the SFHR storefront in Bushwick, N.Y. (Jan. 21, 1992).

(69) Interview with George, conducted at the SFHR storefront in Bushwick, N.Y. (July 15, 1992).

(70) Barry Bearak, A Room for Heroin and HIV, L.A. TIMES, Sept. 28, 1992, at A1.

(71) Interview with Pablo, at the SFHR storefront in Bushwick, N.Y. (July 24, 1991).

(72) Pamela Newkirk & Wendell Jamieson, Street of Fury: Shooting Riles Brooklyn Crowd, N.Y. NEWSDAY, May 24, 1992, at 3.

(73) Tabor, supra note 41.

(74) See Curtis & Hamid, supra note 57, at 17-19.

(75) Samuel R. Friedman et al., Adolescents and HIV Risk Due to Drug Injection or Sex with Drug Injectors in the United States, in AIDS AND ADOLESCENTS 107, 120 (Lorraine Sherr ed., 1997).

(76) Focus group with three teens from Bushwick, conducted at Intermediate School After School Program (Dec. 13, 1993).

(77) Focus group with four street level drug distributors, conducted at doctor's office, Bushwick Ave. (Nov. 18, 1993).

(78) Focus group with three teens from Bushwick, conducted at an Intermediate School After School Program (Dec. 13, 1993).

(79) Personal communication with Jose Olmo, Director of Family Dynamics, at the DUHRAY research storefront (Nov. 15, 1997). Family Dynamics, located in Bushwick, provides a range of social services, particularly preventive services for families in the neighborhood.

(80) Interview with Victoria, in her apartment, Bushwick, N.Y. (Feb. 16, 1997).

(81) Curtis et al., supra note 55, at 230-31.

(82) See infra [Latin, Below, under, beneath, underneath.] A term employed in legal writing to indicate that the matter designated will appear beneath or in the pages following the reference.

infra prep.
, Part VII.

(83) Interview with Macho, at friend's apartment on Stanhope stan·hope  
A light, open, horse-drawn carriage with one seat and two or four wheels.

[After the Reverend Fitzroy Stanhope (1787-1864), British clergyman.]

Noun 1.
 Street, in Bushwick (Sept. 5, 1997).

(84) Ansley Hamid et al., The Heroin Epidemic in New York City: Current Status and Prognoses, 29 J. PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS 375, 378 (1997).


(86) See Michel Marriott, For Minority Youths, 40 Ounces of Trouble, N.Y. TIMES, Apr. 16, 1993, at A1; Barry Meier, Among Girls, Blacks Smoke Much Less, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 10, 1997, at A22.

(87) Interview with Walter, during focus group at Intermediate School, in Bushwick (Dec. 13, 1993).

(88) Interview with Harv, focus group with four street level distributors, Bushwick (Nov. 18, 1993).

(89) Interview with Fila, focus group with four street level distributors, Bushwick (Nov. 18, 1993).

(90) Benny Jose, et al., Syringe-Mediated Drug-Sharing (Backloading) : A New Risk Factor for HIV Among Injecting Drug-Users, 7 AIDS 1653, 1655-57 (1993).

(91) Samual R. Friedman et al., Sex, Drugs, and Infections Among Youth: Parenterally and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Sexually transmitted diseases

Infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely
 in a High-Risk Neighborhood, 24 SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES 322, 323-24 (1997).

(92) See, e.g., Sevgi O. Aral et al., Demographic and Societal Factors Influencing Risk Behaviors, in RESEARCH ISSUES IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES IN THE AIDS ERA 161, 162-64 (Judith N. Wasserheit et al. eds. 1991); Jonathan M. Ellen et al., Socioeconomic Differences in Sexually Transmitted Disease sexually transmitted disease (STD) or venereal disease, term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale,  Rates Among Black and White Adolescents, 85 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 1546, 1547 (1995); Robert T. Rolfs et al., Risk Factors for Syphilis: Cocaine Use and Prostitution, 80 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 853, 855-56 (1990); cf Denise B. Kandel & Kazuo Yamaguchi, From Beer to Crack: Developmental Patterns of Drug Involvement, 83 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 853, 855-56 (1990).

(93) See Nancy J. Alexander, Sexual Spread of HIV Infection, 1 J. BRIT. FERTILITY SOC'Y 111, 111, supplement to 11 HUM. REPROD. (1996); Suzanne Bowler et al., HIV and AIDS Among Adolescents in the United States: Increasing Risk in the 1990s, 15 J. ADOLESCENCE 345, 347-48 (1992); Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.

CDC - Control Data Corporation
 Update: Trends in AIDS Incidence-United States, 1996, 46 MORTALITY & MOBIDITY WEEKLY REV. 861, 866 (1997); Helene D. Gayle & Lawrence J. D'Angelo, Epidemiology of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, see AIDS.  and Human Immunodeficiency Virus human immunodeficiency virus

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
A transmissible retrovirus that causes AIDS in humans.
 Infection in Adolescents, 10 PEDIATRIC pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.

Of or relating to pediatrics.
 INFECTIOUS DISEASE Infectious disease

A pathological condition spread among biological species. Infectious diseases, although varied in their effects, are always associated with viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites and aberrant proteins known as prions.
 J. 322, 322 (1991); Steven E. Keller et al., HIV-Relevant Sexual Behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life.  Among a Healthy Inner-City Heterosexual Adolescent Population in an Endemic Area Endemic area
A geographical region where a particular disease is prevalent.

Mentioned in: Leprosy, Scrub Typhus
 of HIV, 12 J. ADOLESCENT HEALTH 44, 44 (1991); Janneke H. H. M. Van De Wijgert & Nancy S. Padian, Heterosexual Transmission of HIV, in AIDS AND THE HETEROSEXUAL POPULATION 1 (Lorraine Sherr, ed., 1993); Heather J. Walter et al., Factors Associated with AIDS Risk Behaviors Among High School Students in an AIDS Epicenter, 82 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 528, 530-31 (1992).

(94) Friedman et al., supra note 75, at 119-20.

(95) Interview with Boo, at John Jay College (May 2, 1997).

(96) GOLUB &JOHNSON, supra note 85, at 3.

(97) See Ansley Hamid, The Development Cycle of a Drug Epidemic. The Cocaine Smoking Epidemic of 1981-1991, 24 J. PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS 337, 345 (1992); Bruce D. Johnson et al., Emerging Models of Crack Distribution, in DRUGS CRIME AND SOCIAL POLICY 56-78 (Thomas M. Mieczkowski ed., 1992).

(98) Cf. Friedman et al., supra note 91, at 325.

(99) Curtis & Hamid, supra note 57, at 10.

(100) Interview with Ariel, John Jay College (Feb. 28, 1996).

(101) Id.

(102) Interview with Clave, conducted in Maria Hernandez Park, Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 23, 1996).

(103) Interview with Paul, conducted in Bushwick, N.Y. (May 27, 1995).

(104) See MICHAEL BRAKE, COMPARATIVE YOUTH CULTURES 189-90 (1985); Dwight Conquergood, On Reppin' and Rhetoric: Gang Representations 22-24 (April 8, 1992) (Unpublished manuscript presented at the Philosophy and Rhetoric of Inquiry Seminar, University of Iowa Not to be confused with Iowa State University.
The first faculty offered instruction at the University in March 1855 to students in the Old Mechanics Building, situated where Seashore Hall is now. In September 1855, the student body numbered 124, of which, 41 were women.
, on file with The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology).

(105) Interview with Clave, conducted in his apartment, Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 23, 1996).

(106) Interview with Rico, conducted in a friend's apartment, Williamsburg, N.Y. (June 24, 1997).

(107) Interview with Bolo, conducted on Stanhope Street, Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 23, 1996).

(108) Interview with EZ, conducted in Bolo's apartment, Bushwick, N.Y. (May 23, 1996).

(109) Interview with Cibo, conducted on the corner of Stanhope St. and Irving Ave., Bushwick, N.Y. (Sept. 27, 1995).

(110) Interview with Bolo, conducted on Stanhope St., Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 24, 1997).

(111) Interview with Bolo, conducted in his apartment, Bushwick, N.Y. (Nov. 16, 1995).

(112) Interview with Bolo, conducted in his apartment, Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 24, 1995).

(113) Interview with Robert, conducted as he sold crack on Stanhope St., Bushwick, N.Y. (Sept. 25, 1995).

(114) Interview with Manuel, conducted on the stoop of his apartment building on Irving Avenue, Bushwick, N.Y. (Aug. 19, 1996).

(115) Michael Cooper, You're Under Arrest, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 1, 1996, [sections] 13, at 1.


(117) See, e.g., David C. Anderson, Crime Stoppers stoppers

see stopper pad.
, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 6, 1997 [sections] 6 at 47; George L. Kelling & William J. Bratton William Joseph 'Bill' Bratton is currently the 54th Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and was formerly Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, the only person to hold both positions. , Declining Crime Rates: Insiders' Views of the New York City Story, 88 J. CRIM. LAW & CRIMINOLOGY 1217 (1998).

(118) Cooper, supra note 115, at 1.

(119) KELLING & COLES, supra note 116, at 242-51.

(120) See generally GIDDENS, supra note 8; MILLER, supra note 8.

RICHARD CURTIS, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice John Jay College of Criminal Justice: see New York, City University of. ; Principal Research Associate, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.3
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Author:Curtis, Richard
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Date:Jun 22, 1998
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