Broken Windows Essay

781 words - 4 pages

Broken-window concept and social disorder
The broken-window concept is a criminological theory introduced by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in the 1982 article “The police and neighborhood safety: Broken windows.” This concept explores the effects of social disorder as it relates to community life. More importantly, it correlates the relationship between public vagrancy and the quality of community life and social norms. It is necessary to define disorder and social norms in order to examine how the broken window theory requires not only police participation, but also that of neighborhood citizens’, and how establishing order is crucial for preventing further neighborhood ...view middle of the document...

3). Having mental assurance gives citizens security and also allows them to consider the police as allies and not enemies. This removes the barrier between law enforcement and citizens and improves the relationship between citizens and police. Furthermore, when neighbors and patrolling police officers (who do or do not live in this same neighborhood) come to a common understanding/agreement of what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, it increases the ability to control areas, which is a crime prevention mechanism.
Setting and maintaining order aids in preventing crime in that it establishes a minimal tolerance policy on unacceptable behaviors and provides/establishes order. Establishing order addresses inappropriate behavior, which is the first step of not having broken windows (para. 9). Additionally, when the police pay attention to these behaviors “[…] they can reduce fear, strengthen communities […]” (Bratton & Kelling, 2006, p. 1-2). Strengthening the community decreases fear which leads to broken windows being fixed.
One way in which broken windows can be fixed is to repair them immediately. In order to repair the windows, it is necessary to “[…] identify neighborhoods at the tipping point- where the public order is deteriorating but not unreclaimable” (Wilson & Kelling, 1982, para. 47). In identifying these areas of deterioration, one can consider that it “[…] generates valuable knowledge that police practitioners can adopt as part of their policing strategies” (Bond, 2009, para. 4). In turn, an increase in knowledge and awareness of the communal...

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