Who Stopped the Murders In New York City?

Who stopped the violence in New York City? (Photo: Wikipedia)

One of the dramatic changes in New York society in recent years has been the plunging rate of crime — particularly violent crime — in urban neighborhoods.

The lawless “Fort Apache” vibe of the 1970s and 1980s has evaporated.  This week, New York City marked a week-long period without a single homicide, a remarkable event in a city of 9 million people.

People debate what caused the pacification of Gotham.  Was it the war on drugs launched by Nelson Rockefeller?  The crackdown on petty crime marshaled by Rudy Giuliani?  The effort to ban and buy back guns orchestrated by Michael Bloomberg?

Homicides in New York City 1961-2007.

As Prison Time continues, this is one of the questions we’ll be exploring.  Did the mass incarceration policies of the last four decades, which sent hundreds of thousands of men and women to prison, contribute to improvements in public safety and quality of life?

What do you think?  Is locking up lots of people a viable, affordable way to clean up the streets of America?

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