Veal_1010_IllusionOfOrder

Veal_1010_IllusionOfOrder - Illusion of Order: The False...

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Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing In Illusion of Order , Benard E. Harcourt describes in great detail the order-maintenance policing strategy rooted under the broken windows theory as he interprets and gives critical feedback of the widely criticized approach. The broken windows theory originated in the second half of the twentieth century from the writings of intellectualists George L. Kelling, James Q. Wilson and Edward Banfield, also known as the “New Progressives” from the New Chicago School in Chicago, Illinois. Essentially, what the broken windows theory hypothesizes is that if a minor infraction similar to a single broken window is left un-repaired, it then causes more disorder, and invites more broken windows and creates a neighborhood of disorder and eventually causes serious crime. Its premise is that “disorder and crime are inextricably linked (23).” It clarifies that minor disorders (such as littering, loitering, public drinking, panhandling, and prostitution), if tolerated in a neighborhood will attract crime. As a result to solving these minor infractions that potentially leads to an increase in serious crime, the order-maintenance policing strategy was put into effect first in New York City under the “quality of life initiative” by mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Under the quality of life initiative, also known as zero-tolerance policing, crime is to be dramatically reduced due to misdemeanor arrests to further prevent serious crime from happening. Misdemeanor crimes such as turnstile jumping in New York City subways, prostitution, and loitering are small disorderly acts of conducts which the order-maintenance theory primarily focuses on. Simply put by the broken windows theory, disorder causes crime, which in turn contributes to neighborhood decline. The order-maintenance approach in practice leads to more arrests and added levels of incarceration. To demonstrate how the order-maintenance policing approach would manifest and hold to scrutiny in the local neighborhood cities, New York created the “quality-of-life initiative,” which aggressively enforced misdemeanor laws and thus created to more arrests of minor law
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Veal 2 offenders. Under the initiative, crime decreased dramatically but it was not due to mayor’s Giuliani’s order-maintenance strategy, but due to other major factors that were also associated with the entire United States’ decline in major crime during the 1990s. Harcourt’s empirical critique examined how social scientific data did not support the broken windows theory due to lack of substantial evidence. In chapter 3, Harcourt proposed to redress data analysis from Wesley Skogan’s study that tested the statistical connection between the level of disorder in a neighborhood and the amount of crime in that same neighborhood. Harcourt found that Skogan’s study had many statistical problems including missing values of
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course SOCI 3860 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '11 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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Veal_1010_IllusionOfOrder - Illusion of Order: The False...

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