Broken Window Policy Analysis

1459 Words6 Pages
Actually, it is the Broken Windows One need look no further than the introduction to Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything to find an example of the flaws in the new paradigm being presented. By way of introduction to their exploration of the hidden side of everything, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner address the question of crime in America. They run through the history of crime as it got worse between the 1960s and the 1980s, and why it was reduced, dramatically, during the 1990’s. This question is considered in more detail in a separate chapter entitled “Where have all the criminals gone? (Levitt and Dubner, 73).” They are deliberately iconoclastic. Indeed, one wonders if they are writing their book tongue…show more content…
This is the “broken window” policing strategy introduced by Police Commissioner Bratton under the administration of Mayor Giuliana (Francis). In turn, the broken window policy is based on an interesting sociological experiment. In 1969 Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford University Sociologist, took a car with some sminor damage, torn license plate, left the doors open, and left it in the Bronx, at that time a very crime infested section of New York. Within 10 minutes it was being robbed and in three days it was a hulk on cinder blocks. Zimbardo then took a similar car to Palo Alto, California, an upscale area, but this time there was no damaged license plate and the doors were closed and locked. It sat, undisturbed, for a week. Zimbardo then damaged the car with a hammer, including breaking a window (hence, the “broken window experiment”). The result was that the car became a hulk on cinder blocks within three days (Rovira). This experiment translated to a policing philosophy that by taking care of the small things, the broken windows, the petty crimes, an area, a neighborhood, or an entire city would be seen as something not subject to damage. Returning now to Friar Occam’s Razor, does it not make at least as much sense that broken windows policing can be credited with the dramatic decrease in crime in the 1990s as the increase in abortions beginning 20 years before was the

More about Broken Window Policy Analysis

Open Document