Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Harold R. Holzman
In the popular imagination, public housing is associated with violent crime, drug trafficking, and disorder. This unsavory image is inspired principally by journalistic accounts rather than empirical research by social scientists. Although public housing has existed in the United States since the 1930s, relatively little criminological research exists on crime in public housing, especially with respect to how crime levels in these enclaves compare with levels in the surrounding neighborhoods and county or municipal jurisdiction (Fagan et al. 1998; Holzman 1996). Even where criminologists have documented problems with drugs and crime in public housing, the question has remained whether the public housing developments were generating the troublesome behavior or playing unwilling host to predators from the surrounding “bad neighborhood” (Dunworth and Saiger 1994). The paucity of information on actual crime rates is due to the fact that the quantitative measurement of crime in public housing is exceedingly difficult (Dunworth and ...