A lot of what Guiliani did was to strictly enforce laws on the books in targeted areas. He aimed to prosecute at 100% all the ‘small stuff’-- pot offenses, graffiti, civil disturbance, etc. He targeted ‘high crime areas’ (defined by some set of criteria) with enforcement, much like traffic engineers track ‘high crash rate’ locations on highways for targeted re-designs.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book “Tipping Point”, basically about very small events that at some point culminate to create a ‘point of no return’ effect of momentum. He discussed how Guiliani (and neighborhoods, groups, etc.) followed a zero-tolerance for grafitti. Every time some was found, it was cleaned up and many areas started to spring back in part because of the attention it was given (as well as addressing drug deals, petty crime, etc.).
In other words, once the apathy threshold is reversed, and law enforcement and communities ACTIVELY enforce rules and hold standards for their neighborhoods, change happens.
Draconian? I don’t really think so-- just enforcing laws on the books-- ie. What the “people” created. To me, ‘draconian’ is gun-control type things.
Guiliani was, of course, targeted as ‘racist’ simply because of the number of black and minority arrests that resulted in high crime locations.
I’m generally not a fan of Guiliani’s (national) politics, in fact he’s been a proponent of more gun control laws. However, I do believe he was effective executive at his local level, at least to the extent he was somewhat successful at combating crime in his city.[/quote]
This was my memory of what he did as well. The complete opposite of decriminalizing certain crimes as others have mentioned. And I think it’s pretty hard to argue he wasn’t effective in NYC. He did some amazing things from what I understand.