When Sam Quinones recently returned to the Glassell Park district of Los Angeles, where he used to report on gang violence, he was stunned by what he saw. Gone was much of the graffiti and criminal activity that had plagued the neighborhood for years. Quinones, the author of two books and a veteran of the Los Angeles Times, learned the importance of reading public space in his decades of reporting on gangs: “Who gangs were able to recruit had everything to do with their graffiti, carjackings, and more visible displays of crime.” In "The End of Gangs" he writes about how gangs have been dramatically pushed back from public spaces across Southern California.
For more on the science of society, and to support our work, sign up for our free email newsletters and subscribe to our bimonthly magazine. Digital editions are available in the App Store (iPad) and on Google Play (Android) and Zinio (Android, iPad, PC/MAC, iPhone, and Win8).