Public Policy Paper

Public Policy Paper - Public Policy/Management Memo: Crime...

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Public Policy/Management Memo: Crime in Public Housing in Watts, Los Angeles, California Meredith Martinuzzi May 3, 2010 PPD 225 1
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Problem Watts, Los Angeles faces a major problem of high crime rates in public housing units and the communities around them. As a resident of Nickerson Gardens, a public housing project in Watts, I am effected by this issue from a first hand basis and am writing to you, the administration of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to express my concern. The total crime risk compared to the national average is approximately four times as high in Watts. Even compared to Los Angeles County, the crime rate in Watts is 300% higher than the county average. Last year in the neighborhood there were 72 homicides, 1,147 assaults, 72 rapes, and 2,427 robberies (Los Angeles Watts Demographics). Just the other day on April 11 th at 11pm I myself witnessed a violent robbery being taken place on Compton and 108 th street, which is a disturbing memory that will last with me forever (Southeast Community Police Station). I also witness the violence between the Bloods, Crips and Mexican gangs that often occurs as well as the racial tension between the Blacks and Latin Americans that is increasingly getting worse and worse. It is understood that through the efforts of HACLA crime rates have decreased, but not enough. Something else needs to be implemented. 2
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Background/Context To give context of the issue, some solutions in the past have been successful while others have failed. As you know, HACLA has created several of these programs. A successful community development program included recreational services, youth and family services, resident leadership and language training. It has been dedicated to benefit the residents and improve their quality of life (HACLA). Happier more self-sufficient people are less likely to get into crime and therefore residents not involved in crime create a safer place to live. These services also keep the residents busy so that they don’t have time to get involved in crime, because they were doing things more valuable with their time. The language services also helps to reduce the language barrier between ethnic groups that helps to reduce the racial tensions. Another solution that worked was building a new low-income housing project called Pueblo Del Sol in South-east Los Angeles in a community called Boyle Heights. This replaced the crime ridden old housing project Aliso Village with a housing project built with a more sustainable living environment. The housing project included social services, after school programs, computer learning classes and exercise rooms (HACLA). Two solutions that have been ineffective in reducing crime rates by
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Public Policy Paper - Public Policy/Management Memo: Crime...

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