March 1965

Civil Rights Activity and Reduction in Crime Among Negroes

Author Affiliations

Center for Youth and Community Studies, Howard University. NIMH Career Teaching Fellow in Psychiatry, College of Medicine (Dr. Solomon); Senior Staff Associate, Center for Youth and Community Studies (Mr. Walker); Instructor in Psychiatry, The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Dr. O'Connor); and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Neurology, and Director, Center for Youth and Community Studies, Howard University (Dr. Fishman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(3):227-236. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720330001001

Introduction  IN THIS PRELIMINARY report, data are presented on a possible reduction in crime among Negroes in certain cities during periods of organized community action for civil rights in those cities. The existence of such a phenomenon has been remarked upon by leaders of "direct action" civil rights groups in several communities. Yet, to date there has been no documentation of this phenomenon except for newspaper accounts of the one-day "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" of Aug 28, 1963.According to the Washington Evening Star, there were only seven "major crimes" recorded by the District of Columbia police in the 24-hour period ending at 8:00 AM on Aug 29, 1963.1 The Star noted that during the same time period in the previous week, there had been 19 such crimes. Thus, reported major crime in Washington apparently dropped 63% for the day of and the night

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