A decade after the Boston anticrime “miracle,” residents are shaken by a resurgence of homicides and shootings concentrated in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, says the Christian Science Monitor. Last week alone, police reported seven murders in seven days. While Boston’s murder rate remains lower than in many major American cities, its 75 murders in 2005 marked its deadliest year in a decade. This year’s 21 are two ahead of last year’s pace.
Small bands of young men are playing a major role. Among several factors fueling the violence: An increase in the number of young people; funding cuts in federal, state, and local antiviolence programs; complacency because of the success of the 1990s violence-reduction effort; and a violent street culture. Criminologist David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice cited a culture in which respect, reputation, and standing “is everything.” Kennedy was a leader in Boston’s Operation Ceasefire a decade ago.