We Deliver: The Gentrification of Drug Markets on Manhattan's Lower East Side

Richard Curtis, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Travis Wendel, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Barry J. Spunt, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

This 2-year ethnographic study documents and analyzes changes in the social and technical organization of drug markets on Manhattan's Lower East Side from March 1999 to March 2001. Among the major findings to be discussed are 1) the virtual disappearance of street sales, 2) the growth of delivery and delivery services for drugs of all types, 3) the growing importance of "secondary markets" for all drugs, 4) the increasing class fragmentation of drug markets, and 5) an assessment of the relative impacts on drug markets of demographic shifts, land-use changes, and law enforcement activities. The research also examines the types declining incidence and importance of violence and non-drug crime in drug markets. The study documents the socio-demographic composition of consumer groups associated with the variety of illegal drug markets and describes transformations in their behaviors, beliefs and norms.

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Updated 05/20/2006