Bratton, Kelling Defend 'Broken Windows'

The police chief and criminologist-theorist argue that the crime-prevention theory really works, despite recent criticism.
March 8, 2006, 9am PST | David Gest
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"We've argued for many years that when police pay attention to minor offenses â€" such as prostitution, graffiti, aggressive panhandling -- they can reduce fear, strengthen communities, and prevent serious crime. One of us co-originated (with James Q. Wilson) this theory, which has come to be known as 'fixing broken windows'; the other implemented it in New York City, first as chief of the transit police under Mayor David Dinkins, and then more broadly as police commissioner under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Yet despite the demonstrable success of this theory, some criminologists and sociologists continue to attack it, with arguments that are factually and philosophically false. Policymakers should not be misled by these misrepresentations into returning our cities to the failed police policies of the past."

Thanks to Criminal Justice Journalists

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Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 in National Review
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