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: 186793 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Breaking Away From Broken Windows: Baltimore Neighborhoods and the Nationwide Fight Against Crime, Grime, Fear, and Decline
Author(s): Ralph B. Taylor
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 404
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Westview Press, Inc
Boulder, CO 80301
Grant Number: 96-IJ-CX-0067; 93-IJ-CX-0022; 94-IJ-CX-0018; 80-IJ-CX-0077; 79-NI-AX-0063; 80-IJ-CX-0104
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8133-9758-8
Sale Source: Westview Press, Inc
Marketing Director
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book uses data on recent Baltimore (Maryland) crime-reduction efforts to attack the "broken windows" thesis, which is the currently popular notion that by reducing or eliminating superficial signs of disorder (dilapidated buildings, graffiti, uncivil behavior by teenagers, etc.), urban police departments can make significant and lasting reductions in crime.
Abstract: The author examines three ways that "urban life" is eroded: through increasing neighborhood crime, through decreasing neighborhood quality, and by affecting residents' views about their neighborhood and their neighborhood safety. The statistical models that examine these outcomes draw on three broad areas of empirical and theoretical work: new urban sociology, human ecology, and views about neighborhood quality and safety. Specific chapters describe the work and theorizing in each of these areas in detail. The author argues that the measures for reducing urban crime touted in the "broken windows" thesis, while useful, are only a partial solution to neighborhood crime. The data from Baltimore's crime-reduction efforts support a materialist view, i.e., changes in levels of physical decay, superficial social disorder, and racial composition do not lead to more crime, but economic decline does increase crime rates. The book contends that the Baltimore example shows that in order to make real, long-term crime reductions, urban politicians, businesses, and community leaders must cooperate to improve the economic fortunes of those living in high-crime areas. 18 tables, 17 figures, chapter notes and references, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Economic influences; Environmental influences; Maryland; Urban area studies; Urban criminality; Urban planning
Note: Crime & Society Series
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.