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NCJ Number: 167555 Find in a Library
Title: Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities
Author(s): G L Kelling; C M Coles
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 326
Sponsoring Agency: Free Press
New York, NY 10020
Publication Number: ISBN 0-684-82446-9
Sale Source: Free Press
Promotion Manager
Scholarly and Reference Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: While the national response to crime focuses on such issues as building more prisons, capital punishment, and three-strikes laws, all of which deal with crime after it has been committed, the authors contend that controlling disorderly behavior in public places creates an environment where serious crime cannot flourish.
Abstract: The authors do not advocate a return to brutal police tactics of the past. Rather, they recommend a progressive partnership between citizens and the police, even in the most violent urban neighborhoods, to implement stringent new standards for community behavior. The authors show how this partnership is being forged to reduce crime and restore trust between government and citizens. The image of broken windows is used to explain how neighborhoods can decay into disorder and crime if no one cares about their maintenance. It is pointed out that many police departments and a few probation, parole, and prosecutorial agencies are beginning to shift to problem-oriented community approaches. At the same time, while citizens are demanding order and some police and criminal justice agencies are responding to them, civil libertarians are pushing in the opposite direction. Despite assertions by many civil libertarians, attempts to restore order do not pit rich against poor or black against white. The demand for order permeates all social classes and ethnic groups. Police departments are uniquely positioned to restore order through their historical role as problem-solvers in the community. Consequences of misunderstanding the crime problem are explored, and ways in which disorder has proliferated with the growth of an ethos of individualism and increasing legislative and judicial support for protecting the fundamental rights of individuals at the expense of community interests are described. Policing models and practices are evaluated, efforts of the New York City Police Department to move in the direction of community policing are reported, benefits of community policing are identified, and steps taken in three cities (Baltimore, San Francisco, and Seattle) to restore order in public places are cited. A community crime control model is recommended that gives responsibility back to communities and establishes new mechanisms of police and criminal justice accountability to neighborhoods and communities. References, notes, and figures
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): California; Community crime prevention programs; Community involvement; Community policing; Criminology; Maryland; New York; Police community relations; Police crime-prevention; Police-citizen interactions; Problem-Oriented Policing; Urban criminality; Washington
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