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“Broken Windows”
by

James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling
A study and analysis of urban police foot patrol
implementation...
Wilson & Kelling’s
Hypothesis heightened social
Concentrated community policing of perceived
disorder in impoverished urba...
Methodology
 Philip Zombardo –experiments on vandalism
“vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers – the
sense o...
Key Concepts
• Fear stems from confrontation with incivility, which
leads to avoidance thereby weakening social controls
(...
Key Concepts (cont.)
• Social norms of the environment were defined and
enforced collaboratively – police & “regulars”

 ...
Conclusion: Police Central to
Maintaining Order

• “The essence of the police role is maintaining order is to reinforce th...
Additional Credits
Sampson, R. J., & Raudenbush, S. W. (2004). Seeing Disorder: Neighborhood Stigma and the
Social Constru...
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Wilson & Kelling's "Broken Windows" Analysis - C Strayer

This presentation examines the work of Wilson & Kelling, popularly known as the "Broken Window Theory."

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Wilson & Kelling's "Broken Windows" Analysis - C Strayer

  1. 1. “Broken Windows” by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling A study and analysis of urban police foot patrol implementation to address public disorder and violent crime. Broken Windows Presentation by: Chris Strayer
  2. 2. Wilson & Kelling’s Hypothesis heightened social Concentrated community policing of perceived disorder in impoverished urban areas would improve the residents’ perceptions of improved quality of life. As a consequence, by maintaining order, more violent crimes would be prevented. Wilson and Kelling seem to be responding to the idea of Durkheim’s conception of anomie. fixing broken windows + on-foot policing to prevent disorder= maintenance of social norms Durkheim’s work on anomie suggests that Wilson & Kelling should expect that individuals’ behaviors and passions to be regulated by the social norms provided in the environment, thereby prevent more harmful crimes.
  3. 3. Methodology  Philip Zombardo –experiments on vandalism “vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers – the sense of mutual regard and the obligation of civility – are lowered by actions that seem to signal that ‘no one cares’” (p.31)  Premise that one of people’s greatest fears is being “bothered by disorderly people” (p. 30) + conceptual framework that individuals will conform to societally established norms, if these norms are signaled within the environment.  Wilson & Kelling utilized first hand observation, interviews, and surveys to collect data.
  4. 4. Key Concepts • Fear stems from confrontation with incivility, which leads to avoidance thereby weakening social controls (p.33) • Differentiation of “regulars” from “strangers”  Regulars = “decent folk” or those “who knew their place (p. 30)  Strangers = foot patrolman’s jobs “to keep an eye on strangers” to ensure widely understood rules were observed (p.30)  “Persons who broke the informal rules, especially those who bothered people *…} were arrested for vagrancy. Noisy teenagers were told to keep quiet.” (p.30)
  5. 5. Key Concepts (cont.) • Social norms of the environment were defined and enforced collaboratively – police & “regulars”  “The people of Newark *…+ assign a high value to public order, and feel relieved and reassured when the police help them maintain that order” (p. 31). • Within the community – disorder is perceived to be sequentially linked to crime  “if a window in building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken*…+ “one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing” (p. 31)
  6. 6. Conclusion: Police Central to Maintaining Order • “The essence of the police role is maintaining order is to reinforce the informal control mechanisms of the community itself” (p. 34). • “We must return to our long abandoned view that the police ought to protect communities as well as individuals [and recognize] the importance of maintaining, intact, communities without broken windows” (p. 38). Implications of Broken Window Theory • Extensive application by criminal justice departments in large urban areas, such as New York City and Albuquerque • Action research conducted in educational institutions and real estate settings • Criticisms: promotes overly aggressive policing (zero tolerance) (Sridhar), racial and economic biases (Sampson & Raudenbush, 2004), potentially fallacious relations between correlation and causality (Thacher, 2004).
  7. 7. Additional Credits Sampson, R. J., & Raudenbush, S. W. (2004). Seeing Disorder: Neighborhood Stigma and the Social Construction of “Broken Windows”. Social Psychology Quarterly, 67(4), 319-342. Sridhar, C.R. (13-19). "Broken Windows and Zero Tolerance: Policing Urban Crimes". Economic and Political Weekly 41 (19): 1841–1843. Thacher, David. (2004) "Order Maintenance Reconsidered”

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