By Mark S. Fleisher

This ethnographic research of up to date city criminals examines matters resembling the human dimensions of felony lives, the relatives stipulations that reason youngsters to develop into deviant, and the function of jails and prisons in deterrence and rehabilitation. It additionally proposes anti-crime coverage tasks.

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These street hustlers don't use the vocational skills acquired in prison to obtain legitimate jobs. Rather they continue to rely on public institutions, such as missions, shelters, food programs, residential substance-abuse treatment centers, and criminal behavior, as means of support. This ethnography shows how the social lives of street hustlers are stabilized by the medium of bartering cocaine and heroin. Drugs are bartered for companionship, cash, and sex. If hustlers were without "drug buddies," they would have no companions at all.

Tell me about the street, Popcorn. " Popcorn heard my question, but he didn't know what I wanted him to say. He said nothing. I tried a paraphrase. "Look out the window at the folks walking by. Tell me about them. Where did they sleep last night? Where are they going now? How do they get their money? " "We got it all out here. Drugs and 'ho'es. " Breakfast humor. Then he became serious. "Men and women out this early come from missions. The women, they from ladies' missions. Most of them got a boyfriend.

Before the first time I rode with Seattle cops, I thought that hanging around with them might inhibit or damage potential relationships with street hustlers. My choices were limited though. Either I could wander around minority neighborhoods and parking lots where cocaine was being sold and hope to find someone to answer my questions, or I could let the police introduce me to hustlers they thought would cooperate. Actually I did both things. But before I went to the street alone, I had to learn something about its people and its culture.

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