skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 185996 Find in a Library
Title: Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety (From Criminal Justice System: Politics and Policies, Seventh Edition, P 103-115, 1998, George F. Cole and Marc G. Gertz, eds. -- See NCJ-185991)
Author(s): James Q. Wilson; George L. Kelling
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Ten Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of the police in the United States is re-examined in this article; after almost half a century of emphasis on professionalism, crime control, and efficiency, the authors contend there should be a shift in police patrol strategy toward a focus on order maintenance and community accountability.
Abstract: In several jurisdictions, police patrols have elevated the level of public order in neighborhoods even though crime rates may not have declined. This is at least in part due to the fact that disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked at the community level. Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is not repaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. The impact of urban decay on crime and the connection between public disorder and fear of crime are discussed. The effectiveness of police patrols in maintaining public order is addressed, with emphasis on the police role in reinforcing informal control mechanisms of the community. The role of citizen patrols in maintaining public order is also considered, but the authors believe police patrols are the key to order maintenance.
Main Term(s): Police responsibilities
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Patrol; Police crime-prevention; Police effectiveness; Police policies and procedures; Police professionalism; Social control; United States of America; Urban criminality; Urban policing
Note: From Atlantic Monthly 249 (March 1982): 29-38. By permission of James Q. Wilson.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.