Kudos for your editorial (March 3), "Ganging Up on Crime." It cogently analyzes the South Central Organizing Committee's and United Neighborhoods Organization's innovative proposals to adopt locally a united, interfaith grass-roots strategy against crime, violence, and drug-trafficking and to secure commitment from prominent political and law enforcement leaders to implement that strategy.
Ironically, on that same day the Eisenhower Foundation, a non-public heir of President Johnson's National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, released a study urgently recommending steps to promote inner-city self-help neighborhood organizations empowering residents with "a stake in their own turf."
Unfortunately, in a conversation with an Eisenhower Foundation spokesman, I realized that the report's traditional remedies to avert "social dynamite" conditions in America's inner-city ghettos and barrios didn't mesh much with the interfaith crime strategy's five prongs.
Your excellent article (March 4), "Need Seen for Strategies to Curb Violence," which briefly reviewed the 223-page study by a dozen crime and violence authorities, "American Violence and Public Policy," again raised the question: Do tougher sentences and increased incarceration result in lower crime rates, especially for major violent crimes?