This is the seventh in a series from Dana Goldstein of the Justice Lab at The Marshall Project, Top 10 (Not Entirely Crazy) Theories Explaining the Great Crime Decline:
Crack is wack
There is little doubt that decreased demand for crack and heroin drove some of the initial drop in crime in the early 1990s. Crack was “a single generation drug,” Rosenfeld says. “The younger generation saw the devastation crack was doing in the neighborhoods and to their older cousins, brothers, sisters, and parents. You think to the image of the crack head. It wasn’t a pretty sight. There was nothing cool about it.” Yet because the cooling of the crack market happened so long ago, it is not a likely cause for the continued decline over the past two decades.