In an effort to fight poverty, Hanna Rosin reports, officials in Memphis and many other American cities demolished big public housing projects, assuming that residents given vouchers to live elsewhere would excel in more diverse environments. But rather than reducing crime and dysfunction, dispersing poor residents has simply spread these ills around municipalities. Formerly safe areas are now crime-ridden. Can criminologists persuade policymakers that their former actions are at the root of the crisis?

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