(Kelling and Wilson 1982) Broken windows

Kelling, George L.; Wilson, James Q. Broken windows: the police and neighborhood safety. Atlantic Monthly. 1982 Mar; 249(3):29–38. Available from: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/03/broken-windows/4465/?single_page=true.

Conservative theorists Kelling and Wilson distinguish two functions of policing: fighting crime by detecting and arresting perpetrators in accordance with well-defined legal standards, and maintaining order by enforcing informal, loosely defined community standards of behavior. Despite evidence that maintaining order does not reduce crime in the short run, Kelling and Wilson propose that greater emphasis be placed on this historically significant function of policing. They cite evidence from psychology to show that a perception of order in the environment can influence human behavior in socially desirable ways, and argue that long-term reduction in crime is a likely effect of maintaining order.


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