In the 1990s, New York was considered a dangerous place. The crack epidemic was still in full swing, and the city was at the peak of a national crime wave. Twenty years later, everything’s changed. New York’s crime rate has dropped dramatically and so has the state’s rate of locking people up in prison. How did this transformation occur? KALW’s Rina Palta sat down with Berkeley Law Professor, Franklin Zimring, to talk about his new book, The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and its Control.
A note to readers and listeners: only the first names of children are used in this story.
Christian is 15 years old. And like many teenagers, he’s made some mistakes. “Kinda stupid stuff,” he says. “Like vandalism. Not necessarily graffiti or anything. But yeah. Vandalism.”
And he got caught.
“It’s funny, one little incident can change everybody’s opinion of you,” Christian says. “Like, everybody. At school, like the teachers, from the students, to your family and stuff. But I try not to look at it as a negative or anything.”
Santa Cruz Deputy Chief Steve Clark has been with the Police Department for 25 years. But there are some things that even experience doesn’t teach. Up until now, he’s been trained to respond to incidents.
The music you’re hearing is by Mondo Loko of Berkeley. Perhaps you heard them last summer at Ashkenaz, where they had their first public performance. Now the group brings its version of Samba Funk and Samba Rock to the Cigar Bar & Grill on Montgomery Street in San Francisco this Thursday (03.22). Music starts at 9:30pm.