What some experts call Camden, N.J.’s vicious cycle is kept spinning by high unemployment, failing schools, a depleted tax base, and violence so bad even some longtime advocates are beginning to despair, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Camden closed out 2012 with a record 67 homicides, a per capita rate four times higher than Philadelphia’s. Last month, Camden’s 2011 crime rate landed the city at the top of the CQ Press’ annual crime ranking.
“Safety and education. To the extent those are missing, it will make it very hard to get investments” in Camden, said Paul Jargowsky of the Center for Urban Research and Urban Education at Rutgers University’s Camden campus. “People who end up staying are people who can’t afford to leave.” Despite Camden’s bleak statistics, investors such as Philadelphia developer Carl Dranoff have plans to revitalize Camden.