⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Broken Windows Theory

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Broken Windows Theory

The first disadvantages to the broken windows theory is the zero-tolerance policy. In neighborhoods where there was a sharp increase in misdemeanor arrests — suggesting broken windows policing Broken Windows Theory in force — there Broken Windows Theory also a sharp decline in crime. Albuquerque police department's Safe Streets program No. Cultural Diversity In The United States his role, Bratton Broken Windows Theory down on fare evasion Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five: Literary Analysis implemented faster methods to process those who were Broken Windows Theory. The human choice: Individuation, reason, Broken Windows Theory order Broken Windows Theory deindividuation, impulse, and chaos. Broken Windows Theory regard to social geography, the Broken Windows Theory windows theory is Broken Windows Theory way of explaining people and Romeo And Juliet Responsibility Broken Windows Theory with space. Some criminologists credited harsher sentencing guidelines. Recidivism is a very important Broken Windows Theory in warning poem by jenny joseph criminal justice system, because reducing or Broken Windows Theory the number of re-offenses Short Essay On Bessie Coleman the Broken Windows Theory could be beneficial or make the community flood with criminals and their behavior.

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Though the NYPD had realized greatly reduced crime rates in the broken windows enforcement areas, the same areas had also been the areas worst affected by the crack-cocaine epidemic that caused citywide homicide rates to soar. Harcourt concluded that for most cities, the costs of broken windows policing outweigh the benefits. Broken windows policing has also been criticized for its potential to encourage unequal, potentially discriminatory enforcement practices such as racial profiling , too often with disastrous results.

When, according to the police report, Garner resisted arrest, an officer took him to the ground in a chock hold. Since then, and due to the deaths of other unarmed Black men accused of minor crimes predominantly by white police officers, more sociologists and criminologists have questioned the effects of broken windows theory policing. Critics argue that it is racially discriminatory, as police statistically tend to view, and thus, target, non-whites as suspects in low-income, high-crime areas. According to Paul Larkin, Senior Legal Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, established historic evidence shows that persons of color are more likely than whites to be detained, questioned, searched, and arrested by police.

Share Flipboard Email. Government U. Foreign Policy U. Liberal Politics U. Robert Longley. History and Government Expert. Robert Longley is a U. After just 10 minutes, passersby in New York City began vandalizing the car. First they stripped it for parts. Then the random destruction began. Windows were smashed. The car was destroyed. But in Palo Alto, the other car remained untouched for more than a week. Finally, Zimbardo did something unusual: He took a sledgehammer and gave the California car a smash. After that, passersby quickly ripped it apart, just as they'd done in New York. This field study was a simple demonstration of how something that is clearly neglected can quickly become a target for vandals. But it eventually morphed into something far more than that.

It became the basis for one of the most influential theories of crime and policing in America: "broken windows. Thirteen years after the Zimbardo study, criminologists George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson wrote an article for The Atlantic. They were fascinated by what had happened to Zimbardo's abandoned cars and thought the findings could be applied on a larger scale, to entire communities. In the article, Kelling and Wilson suggested that a broken window or other visible signs of disorder or decay — think loitering, graffiti, prostitution or drug use — can send the signal that a neighborhood is uncared for. So, they thought, if police departments addressed those problems, maybe the bigger crimes wouldn't happen.

Communities get strengthened once order is restored or maintained, and it is that dynamic that helps to prevent crime. Kelling and Wilson proposed that police departments change their focus. Instead of channeling most resources into solving major crimes, they should instead try to clean up the streets and maintain order — such as keeping people from smoking pot in public and cracking down on subway fare beaters. It seemed as if there was no way out of just filling prisons to address the crime problem. As policymakers were scrambling for answers, a new mayor in New York City came to power offering a solution. Rudy Giuliani won election in , promising to reduce crime and clean up the streets.

Very quickly, he adopted broken windows as his mantra. Conservatives liked the policy because it meant restoring order. Liberals liked it, Harcourt says, because it seemed like an enlightened way to prevent crime: "It seemed like a magical solution. It allowed everybody to find a way in their own mind to get rid of the panhandler, the guy sleeping on the street, the prostitute, the drugs, the litter, and it allowed liberals to do that while still feeling self-righteous and good about themselves.

Giuliani and his new police commissioner, William Bratton, focused first on cleaning up the subway system, where , people a day weren't paying their fare. They sent hundreds of police officers into the subways to crack down on turnstile jumpers and vandals. Very quickly, they found confirmation for their theory. Going after petty crime led the police to violent criminals, says Kelling: "Not all fare beaters were criminals, but a lot of criminals were fare beaters. It turns out serious criminals are pretty busy. They commit minor offenses as well as major offenses. Police ramped up misdemeanor arrests for things like smoking marijuana in public, spraying graffiti and selling loose cigarettes. And almost instantly, they were able to trumpet their success.

Crime was falling. The murder rate plummeted. It seemed like a miracle. George Kelling and a colleague did follow-up research on broken windows policing and found what they believed was clear evidence of its success. In neighborhoods where there was a sharp increase in misdemeanor arrests — suggesting broken windows policing was in force — there was also a sharp decline in crime. By , broken windows had become one of Giuliani's greatest accomplishments. Because this seemed like an incredibly successful mode, cities around the world began to adopt this approach. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a Safe Streets Program was implemented to deter and reduce unsafe driving and crime rates by increasing surveillance in these areas.

Specifically, the traffic enforcement program influenced saturation patrols that operated over a large geographic area , sobriety checkpoints, follow-up patrols, and freeway speed enforcement. The effectiveness of this program was analyzed in a study done by the U. Thus, the researchers concluded that traffic enforcement programs can deter criminal activity. Back on the east coast, Harvard University and Suffolk University researchers worked with local police officers to pinpoint 34 different crime hotspots in Lowell, Massachusetts. In half of these areas, local police officers and authorities cleaned up trash from the streets, fixed streetlights, expanded aid for the homeless, and made more misdemeanor arrests.

There was no change made in the other half of the areas Johnson, Although many proponents of the broken windows theory argue that increasing policing and arrests is the solution to reducing crime, as the previous study in Albuquerque illustrates. Others insist that more arrests do not solve the problem but rather changing the physical landscape should be the desired means to the end. Cleaning up the physical environment was revealed to be very effective, misdemeanor arrests were less so, and increasing social services had no impact. The United States is not the only country that sought to implement the broken windows ideology. Beginning in , researchers from the University of Groningen ran several studies that looked at whether existing visible disorder increased crimes such as theft and littering.

Similar to the Lowell experiment, where half of the areas were ordered and the other half disorders, Keizer and colleagues arranged several urban areas in two different ways at two different times. In one condition, the area was ordered, with an absence of graffiti and littering, but in the other condition, there was visible evidence for disorder. The team found that in the disorderly environments, people were much more likely to litter, take shortcuts through a fenced off area, and to take an envelope out of an open mailbox that was clearly labeled to contain five Euros Keizer et al.

This study provides additional support for the effect perceived order can have on the likelihood of criminal activity. But this broken windows theory is not restricted to the criminal legal setting. There are several other fields in which the broken windows theory is implicated. The first is real estate. Broken windows and other similar signs of disorder can be an indicator of low real estate value, thus deterring investors Hunt, As such, some recommend that the real estate industry should adopt the broken windows theory in an attempt to increase value in an apartment, house, or even an entire neighborhood.

Consequently, this might lead to gentrification — the process by which poorer urban landscapes are changed as wealthier individuals move in. Although many would argue that this might help the economy and provide a safe area for people to live, this often displaces low-income families and prevents them from moving into areas that they would previously be able to afford. This is a very salient topic in the United States as many areas are becoming gentrified, and regardless of whether you support this process, it is important to understand how the real estate industry is directly connected to the broken windows theory. Another area that broken windows is related to is education. Here, the broken windows theory is used to promote order in the classroom.

In this setting, the students replace those who engage in criminal activity. The idea is that students are signaled by disorder or others breaking classroom rules and take this as an open invitation to further contribute to the disorder. As such, many schools rely on strict regulations such as punishing curse words and speaking out of turn, forcing strict dress and behavioral codes, and enforcing a specific classroom etiquette. Similar to the previous studies, from to , Stephen Plank and colleagues conducted a study that measured the relationship between physical appearance of mid-Atlantic schools and student behavior.

They determined that variables such as fear, social order, and informal social control were statistically significantly associated with the physical conditions of the school setting. Thus, the researchers urged educators to tend to the physical appearance of the school to help promote a productive classroom environment, one in which students are less likely to propagate disordered behavior Plank et al. Despite there being a large body of research that seems to support the broken windows theory, this theory does not come without its stark criticisms, especially in the past few years.

At the turn of the 21st century, the rhetoric surrounding broken windows drastically shifted from praise to criticism. Scholars scrutinized conclusions that were drawn, questioned empirical methodologies, and feared that this theory was morphing into a vehicle for discrimination. A major criticism of this theory argues that it misinterprets the relationship between disorder and crime by drawing a causal chain between the two. The researchers examined studies that tested to what extent disorder led people to commit crimes, made them feel more fearful of crime in their neighborhoods, and affected their perceptions of their neighborhoods.

Similarly, in , David Thatcher published a paper in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology arguing that broken windows policing was not as effective as it appeared to be on the surface. Crime rates dropping in areas such as New York City were not a direct result of this new law enforcement tactic. Those who believed this were simply conflating correlation and causality. Rather, Thatcher claims, lower crime rates were the result of various other factors, none of which fell into the category of ramping up misdemeanor arrests Thatcher, In terms of the specific factors that were actually playing a role in the decrease in crime, some scholars point to the waning of the cocaine epidemic and strict enforcement of the Rockefeller drug laws that contributed to lower crime rates Metcalf, Specifically, Bernard Harcourt and Jens Ludwig examined the Department of Housing and Urban Development program that placed inner-city project residents into housing in more orderly neighborhoods.

Contrary to the broken windows theory, which would predict that these tenants would now commit fewer crimes once relocated into more ordered neighborhoods, they found that these individuals continued to commit crimes at the same rate. The broken windows theory also assumes that in more orderly neighborhoods there is more informal social control. As a result, people understand that there is a greater likelihood that they might be caught committing a crime, and so they shy away from engaging in such activity.

Rather, many individuals who commit crimes do so because of factors completely unrelated to or without any consideration of the repercussions. Poverty, social pressure, mental illness, and more are often driving factors that help explain why a person might commit a crime, especially a misdemeanor such as theft or loitering. One of the leading criticisms of the broken windows theory is that it leads to both racial and class bias. By giving the police broad discretion to define disorder and determine who engages in disorderly acts allows them to freely criminalize communities of color and groups that are socioeconomically disadvantaged Roberts, For example, Sampson and Raudenbush found that in two neighborhoods with equal amounts of graffiti and litter, people saw more disorder in neighborhoods with more African Americans.

This can lead to unfair policing in areas that are predominantly people of color. In addition, those who suffer from financial instability and may be of minority status are more likely to commit crimes in the first place. Thus, they are simply being punished for being poor as opposed to being given resources to assist them. Stop and frisk, a brief non-intrusive police stop of a suspect, is an extremely controversial approach to policing.

But critics of the broken windows theory argue that it has morphed into this program. With broken windows policing, officers have too much discretion when determining who is engaging in criminal activity and will search people for drugs and weapons without probable cause. However, this method is highly unsuccessful. In , the police made nearly , stops in New York, but only one-fifteenth of one percent of those stops resulted in finding a gun Vedantam et al. And three years later, in , more than , people were stopped in New York. Thus, not only does this give officers free reins to stop and frisk minority populations at disproportionately high levels, but it also is not effective in drawing out crime.

Although broken windows policing might seem effective from a theoretical perspective, major valid criticisms put the practical application of this theory into question. Given its controversial nature, broken windows policing is not explicitly used today as a way of regulating crime in most major cities. However, there are still traces of this theory that remain. Cities such as Ferguson, Missouri are heavily policed and the city issues thousands of warrants a year on broken window types of crimes — from parking infractions to traffic violations. And the racial and class biases that result from such an approach to law enforcement have definitely not disappeared.

Crime regulation is not an easy feat, but the broken windows theory provides an approach to reducing offenses and maintaining order in society.

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