Broken Window Policing Sample Paper




              Broken Window Policing Theory 




Discuss gentrification and the broken window policy. What is the  background on broken window policy, weakness of policy. How can powers be abused?

What policing strategies, if any, do you personally think could prove more impactful than is broken windows?

Critics of broken windows policing have claimed that it unfairly targets certain groups. Throughout history have other policing strategies also targeted certain groups?

Could a version of broken windows policing prove effective in schools, possibly even working to prevent a tragedy (school shooting)?

Do you think that broken windows policing might benefit your community, making it safer and granting residents a higher quality of life? Are broken windows policing already being practiced in your community?





                     Analysis of Broken Window Policies


In 1982, James Wilson and George Kelling fashioned the theory of broken windows. The policy used the term “broken windows,” as a metaphor to describe crimes happening in the City of New York (Braga et al. 567). The theory was influential; throughout the 1990s, in enabling police to combat crime-related disorders within the city. Upon its inception and implementation in the city, by police boss William Bratton, cases of crime reduced drastically (Braga et al. 567). Bratton managed to reduce the crime rates in the city through the involvement of plainclothes officers. The plainclothes officers were directed to arrest proponents of misdemeanors including but not limited to public drinking and street prostitution. Studies designate that upon his resignation in 1996, Bratton had helped halve the crime rates in New York City(Braga et al. 577). That said, the paper seeks to describe the effectiveness of the broken window policy in making safe the community and school environment. What is more is that the brief analyzes alternative policies that prove more impactful than broken windows policy whilst pinpointing the critics concern over ineffectiveness of the broken window policy.

                  Alternative policing strategies


The broken windows policy is focused in analyzing the long chain of chronology of events that facilitate serious crimes. The policy was further supported by the works of political scientist Wesley Skogan; catalogued crimes based on social and physical paradigm (Jenkins, 220). Apart from the broken window policy, the paper proposed the inclusion of Intelligence-Led-Policing (ILP) and Zero tolerance policy in effectively combating crimes in the neighborhoods. The intelligence-Led-Policy gained significant momentum internationally because of its ability to propose and implement the need to have collective effort from the community and police to manage the risk; as such police spend more time with the host community(Jenkins, 222). Equally important, the zero-tolerance policy supersedes broken windows policy as it strictly punishes disorders with reference to guidelines agreed upon by all stakeholders; community and law enforcers(Jenkins, 222). The two proposed policies are considered important than the broken windows policy because of their ability to involve the community vigilance more in eliminating cases of disorders; the broken window policy only employed the use of law enforcers in white plain clothes.

             Criticism of broke window policy


Wilson and Kelling argue that after observing the trends in patterns relating to crimes, they found out that the perpetrators of the crime belonged not only to a certain social class but also of specific ethnic group. The study in the City of New York indicates that people living in the boroughs were responsible for serious crimes in the city; making it unsafe for residents and investors(Jenkins, 223). The claims are further supported by the works of police boss Bratton, who in his quest to eliminate cases of crime; he focused and channeled his energy in the boroughs. Similarly, the zero-tolerance policy focused on specific perpetrators of crime including sexual crimes and related abuses by people over the internet. Notably, the ILP prior to undergoing amendments, it focused more on terrorists. Lately, the model is mindful of other crimes that risk the lives and safety of city dwellers(Jenkins, 223).

Analysis of broken window policy within the school environment (school shooting)


In as much as the broken windows presents with evident results in the case of New York City; through the enforcement by Bratton, its credibility and validity cannot be used within the school setting. This follows the assertions by van der Weele et al who posit that there is no relationship betweendisorder and emerging crimes (2). Rather specific disorderly behaviors were linked to crimes. As such, within the school setting, the broken window policy fails to be apt because of its generic nature of addressing issues. A case scenario of school shooting calls for analysis of finer details of the perpetrators including not only the mental state but also the economic status as well as trends in pattern within the family of the underlying behaviors. Therefore, it is possible to discern that the validity of broken windows cannot be effective within the school environment because it fails to address more cogent factors fueling the emergence of crimes.

Despite, its inaptness to meet certain standard of safety across several institutions; such as schools, the broken window policy has enabled my community to be safe. The underlying reason alludes to the fact that the deployment of law enforcers and increased arrests of perpetrators has not only made the locals afraid but also facilitated a safe city; characterized by ability to stay out till late in the night.

In conclusion, it is possible to assert that the broken window policy is of equal importance in combating social and physical crimes as other incivility policies. What is different is its ability to meet desired results, wherein the responsible parties; proponents, are accountable. The case scenario of New York’s police commissioner, Bratton, serves as evidence in which broken window policy was able to make the city safe whilst reducing the rate of crime by half. In addition to this, the zero-tolerance and ILP have reputable impacts in conducted studies; in 2014 the US experienced mass incarceration and the case of September 11th attack in US enabling the implementation of the two policies respectively.




Braga, Anthony A., Brandon C. Welsh, and Cory Schnell. "Can policing disorder reduce crime? A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 52.4 (2015): 567-588.

Jenkins, Michael J. "Police support for community problem-solving and broken windows policing." American journal of criminal justice 41.2 (2016): 220-235.

van der Weele, Joël J., Mataka P. Flynn, and Rogier J. van der Wolk. "Broken Window Effect." Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (2017): 1-4.







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