The Flaws and Criticisms of the Broken Windows Policing Theory

In 1982, a consequential theory was developed by Social Scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. This theory, known as the “Broken Windows” theory, sought to define why certain areas and groups were more prone to criminal and anti-social behavior. Wilson and Kelling claimed that improperly maintained and disorderly’ environments themselves influenced the criminal behavior of their residents. According to the theory, maintaining an orderly environment was essential in influencing its residents not to commit crimes.

Criminologists quickly moved upon the conclusions of Wilson and Kelling to create a new type of policing, called Broken Windows policing. Broken windows policing aimed to create an environment of order in troubled communities by aggressively policing against petty crimes like vandalism and littering, with the expectation of reducing more violent and serious ones.

Most famously, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton implemented use of Broken Windows policing in New York City in the late 1980’s, as the city struggled with a difficult wave of violent crime accompanying the Crack Epidemic. As the strategy played its course in the 1990’s, violent crime declined, corresponding with the decrease of crack cocaine use and availability as well as usage of broken windows policing. Many criminologists credit the use of Broken Windows as being key to reducing violent crime rates, and studies of crime data have been made suggesting that it was a relevant factor. A study in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency indicated that broken windows policing, as practiced not only in New York but cities across the country, was a factor in reducing violent crime. “It is noteworthy that the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis lend some credibility to the NYPD’s claim that disorder policing was influential in reducing crime in New York City over the Course of the 1990s.”

However, broken windows policing and its effectiveness are not without critics. Some criminologists maintain that the effectiveness of broken windows-a strategy still being used- has reduced with the changing times and changing urban environments. Some point to what they see as abuses of civil liberties-criticizing the infamous NYPD practice of ‘stop-and-frisk’ for violations of civil liberties and being prone to racial profiling. Criminologist Ann Joanes described attention given to the Broken Windows strategy as “[not all being] positive, as many NYC residents and observers have blamed this policy for the rise in police brutality and racial tensions and the lost and respect for the police. New York has not achieved a greater crime reduction than that of all other US cities”.

This line of criticism against Broken Windows has intensified in recent yearsparticularly with regards to stop-and-frisk (also known as “Stop, Question and Frisk) and claims of its racially biased application. In response to a class action lawsuit, Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the contemporary practice of stop and frisk was discriminatory and unconstitutional in August 2013. This forced the NYPD- also under pressure from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio-to change its application of stop and frisk, particularly how it was used in minority neighborhoods. After the restriction, NYPD Officers reported using stop and frisk with 99% less frequency in two of the most crime ridden neighborhoods- the 73rd and 75th precincts, based in Brownsville and East New York respectively. However, the neutering of this tactic coincided-not only in these neighborhoods but in New York City as a whole- with a relatively notable rise in violent crime rates. Shootings increased in these precincts by rates of 27% and 47%, respectively. This has led proponents of Broken Windows policing to claim that the disruption of conventional broken windows tactics such as stop-and-frisk has had a directly negative impact on the rate of violent crime in New York City.

Another issue frequently raised in regards to the acceptability of broken windows policing is its relevance to the current state of American cities, as opposed to the environment it was introduced in during the 1980’s. Drug use and violent crimes have decreased in frequency since then, and law enforcement faces new challenges, such as maintaining a healthy relationship with minority communities- a problem visible within the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

While questions toward the proper application of Broken Windows remain, it seems the removal of a time-tested and valuable crime fighting strategy would leave police departments across the country less prepared to prevent violent crimes and to make neighborhoods safer. Broken windows can and should be used in a way that enables law enforcement to work with minority communities, without stripping their abilities to keep Americans safe.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Social Work and Human Services
Although it took 2 revisions I am satisfied but I did receive it late because of that.
Customer 452603, March 25th, 2021
Criminal Justice
This has been the greatest help while I am recovering from an illness. Thank your team so much.
Customer 452671, May 2nd, 2021
business
Thank you for your hard work and help.
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
Managerial Accounting & Legal Aspects of Business ACC/543
excellent work
Customer 452773, February 7th, 2024
Management
Thank you!!! I received my order in record timing.
Customer 452551, February 9th, 2021
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Excellent job
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
History
Don't really see any of sources I provided, but elsewise its great, thank you!
Customer 452697, May 8th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work
Customer 452773, October 19th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Perfect
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Close

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp