Trends in Neighborhood Problems

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195154580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944033 | DOI:


Trends in Neighborhood Problems

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Repeated administration of evaluation surveys revealed trends in the extent of neighborhood problems in Chicago over time, beginning in early 1994. This was after the CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) model of community policing was announced and the development of the program began in the prototype districts, but a year before it was expanded to encompass the entire city. The surveys asked about neighborhood conditions using categories that are readily understood by the public, and included many concerns which are not easily gauged using agency statistics. African Americans reported very substantial improvements in their quality of life, and things got better for the city's whites as well. However, Latinos showed little overall improvement and, among immigrants, things grew decidedly worse over time. Chicago ended up a racially divided city, much as it had begun, but the nature of the divisions shifted in fairly dramatic fashion. Two of the neighborhood problems identified in the surveys were physical decay (graffiti, abandoned buildings, trash and junk, and abandoned cars) and social disorder (loitering, public drinking, and school disruption).

Keywords: Chicago; community policing; CAPS; neighborhood problems; physical decay; social disorder; African Americans; whites; Latinos

Chapter.  8375 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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