Essay #2 Report on Research in Progress

How does broken window policing affect crime and quality of life in American cities?
Broken windows policing is a way of policing where they focus on eliminating small disorders such as graffiti and loitering to lower more serious crimes like robbery. It is a theory where disorder attracts a sense that the area is not under control which allows for people to commit a crime.

Most of my sources came from google scholar and google search itself. The first source I have picked from google scholar is a website from George Mason University center for evidence-based crime policy. This source is deemed viable and very trustworthy just from the list of their own resources which also helped me in finding some scholarly sources. It talks about what broken window policing is right away and then provided various examples and evidence of broken windows policing and how well they worked as well as any off variables that could have made the broken windows policing fail. That would greatly help me in my research as it easily lists a few key points already. It lists 7 examples of the policing theory with 3 successful results, 3 with no significant result, and one that had a mixed result of both, which is very balanced in terms of if broken windows policing will affect crime and quality of life in America with great results or none at all.

The second scholarly source is a civic report made by multiple people involved in criminal justice and police institutions. It is a fantastic analysis of everything police-related starting from the beginning questioning of the impact of police. It compares zero-tolerance policing against broken windows policing. Zero tolerance policing is completely different because it is the police following very strictly on the law and will punish people no matter how small of a crime they have committed to lower crime rates. This source analyzes multiple examples of both theories and will help immensely with my research in comparing how much of an effect the broken window policing has compared to other ways of policing.

The third scholarly source is a critical analysis of the Broken windows policing in new york city and its impact which resembles very closely to my research question. There are detailed observations made and said in this source which includes how the broken windows policing had consistently linked to declines in violent crime. Several other observations and analysis also proved to be very useful in my research and helps to present factual evidence of the positive effects on broken windows policing.

The last three sources are based on magazines, journals, and news. All of which I have found a great use for evidence and support several ideas. One of which talks about how unstable and murky the broken windows policing is and even gives way for racial profiling within communities, they provide thoughts from many people questioning how far stretched is the idea of people going towards violence all because of litter and other small disorders. Other sources talk about other justice programs that incorporate the broken windows theory ending with success, which gives me another idea to include in my research essay.

I have skimmed through the titles of many sources presented to me on google scholar and had only clicked on 4 that I am currently using because of its relation to my topic. I chose not to use several media sources because it was too general and didn’t contain anything special from other sources. I don’t believe I am missing anything in my research so far or at least I have not thought about it.


Kelling, George, et al. “Do Police Matter? An analysis of the Impact of New York City’s Police Reforms.” Civic Report, 22 December 2001,

C. Kamalu, Ngozi, et al. “A Critical Analysis of the ‘Broken Windows’ Policing in New York City and Its Impact: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the
African American Community” African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies: AJCJS, April 2018,

E. Harcourt, Bernard, et al. “Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City and a Five-City Social Experiment.” The Law School The University of Chicago, June 2005,

“Broken Windows Policing.”The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP),

Kelling, George, et al. “Don’t Blame My ‘Broken Windows’ Theory For Poor Policing.” POLITICO Magazine, 11 Aug. 2015,

Matt DeLisi, Coordinator of Criminal Justice Studies, Dean’s Professor in the Department of Sociology. “Broken Windows Works.” City Journal, 30 May 2019,

O’Brien, Dan. “Break the ‘Broken Windows’ Spell: The Policing Theory Made Famous in New York City under Giuliani and Bratton Doesn’t Hold up to Scrutiny.”, 26 May 2019,

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah
    Hi Richard, I did not know about broken window and zero tolerance policing. I think it will be interesting to compare and contrast these two policies. I wonder what other types of policing are out there. What is your personal opinion on the policing you mentioned? Do you feel contempt or content? I feel like in school, we are not really taught about laws or our rights. This makes me wonder why someone can still get in trouble if they did not know they were breaking a law, when we are not even taught what laws exist out there. I think you chose some necessary sources, I also think the racial profiling bit is important. Race has a lot to do with how the police do their job, so I have come to realize through doing my own research. I think your topic is important and should be discussed. I wish you a happy writing, thank you! - Ayesha

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