Archive for March 27th, 2009

Is Crime a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Lately, much of my free time has been spent contributing to the collaborative analysis of St. Paul’s burglaries over the last fifteen months, both churches and commercial buildings. We’re making some good progress, and have identified a lot of interesting trends and patterns, though the work is far from over.

One thing that’s immediately obvious when you start looking at the burglary data is that a lot of the city’s burglaries happen on the west side of town, most of then clustered right around the Midway area and the western end of Frogtown, along University Avenue. This actually comes as no real surprise – everyone kind of knows that that part of the city is “bad”. If you want to score drugs, fake ID, below-retail cigarettes, or skanky disease-ridden drug-addicted prostitutes, Frogtown/University Ave/Midway are the places to be. Why this is isn’t necessarily clear; oh, it’s easy to parrot the usual excuses, about how it’s a poor part of town that hasn’t been the recipient of nearly the amount of urban renewal and investment that other parts of the city have, boo hoo… but what if that’s not the case?

Is – how do I put this? – is being a “bad part of town” a self-fulfilling prophecy?
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Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on March 27th, 2009 | Comments Off on Is Crime a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?