The major factor in the decline has been better policing, he says.
"Cops matter a heck of a lot more than professors and policy makers have thought", he told the association’s annual forum on criminal justice and public safety, held this year in Jersey City, N.J.
One particular area of police effectiveness is on drugs.
Public drug markets have disappeared in New York City, although the city still has some major drug problems, Zimring said. He didn't elaborate on the kinds of policing he finds most effective.
He added that in the anticrime picture overall, "prisons matter a lot less than we thought", and the economy has not caused crime to increase, as many have theorized.I am really encouraged that he stressed just how important the cop on the street is in combating crime. In my mind, the most bang for the buck comes through your local law enforcement agency. This isn’t to say that the rest of the criminal justice system isn’t important, but the reality is that they have the greatest deterrent effect on criminal behavior, especially when they are practicing the most effective and efficient law enforcement possible.
The other stats story I thought was interesting was this one from the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog where they had a bit about the recidivism rate in Texas versus some other states.
Perhaps more encouraging is that Texas' recidivism rate is lower than the national average.