Communities, Crime and Neighborhood Organization
Community Organizations and Crime
The Correlates of Community Antidrug Activism
Community Crime Prevention
Collective Action, Structural Disadvantage and Crime
This article examines the distribution of opportunities to participate in organized efforts to
combat crime.The findings include that there is evidence of "class bias" in relying on
volunteer efforts to counter neighborhood crime; there were more opportunities for
participation in better-off metropolitan communities. However, at the same time a larger total
effect" in the model is that of neighborhood crime driving local organization. That effect  
"drowned out"some of the class bias, for better-off areas also had fewer reasons to organize
around crime-related issues. Class bias also was dampened somewhat by the tendency of
residents of better-off areas to get along better with the police.
This study examines the correlates of community mobilization around drug rather than crime
problems. It explores the link between activism and local drug problems and the impact of
local social and organizational factors on the extent to which residents mobilized to fight
Community organizations that have crime problems on their agendas are common across the
country. This summary of the research suggests seven major conclusions: 1) participation
cannot easily be initiated or sustained in poorer, higher-crime areas. 2) Organizations that
persist do not  narrowly focus on crime. 3) What organizations do about crime rarely  resembles
the narrow, technical view favored by funding agencies. 4) Outside funding can purchase narrow
crime prevention efforts only for awhile; successful groups will establish their own agenda.   5)
Funders favor the narrow, technical agendas and the money is scooped up by the most
aggressive and already well-organized  neighborhoods. 6) Crime focused groups begin and
persist more easily when they operate in  cooperation with the police. However, securing this
cooperation is difficult in poor, higher-crime areas where relationships with police are often
strained and community organizations are not  prone to cooperate with the police. 7) Successful
programs are the least transferable to  other areas. 8) Troubled communities need
organizations in order to address serious  problems, but trends are moving in the wrong
direction. 9) Organizing efforts are more likely  to succeed in areas that need less help.
This paper compares “top down” to “bottom up” community reactions to neighborhood crime
and disorder. Bottom-up efforts to defend communities are largely naturally-occurring, for
they arise out of shared values and perspectives on problems, dense social relationships,
civic engagement and the organizing abilities of community residents.  It contrasts bottom-up
collective action with a top-down, state-sponsored alternative, Chicago’s beat meetings. It
evaluates them in terms of their relationship to concentrated disadvantage. The question
here is, do top-down or bottom-up projects hold out more hope for assisting poorer areas?