Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Today, major cities from New York to Los Angeles are vigorously enforcing laws against vagrancy, panhandling, and other quality-of-life crimes. This practice is based on the "broken windows" theory of policing, which suggests that a reduction in minor crimes will lead to a decrease in violent ones.
While "broken windows" policing has grown steadily in popularity in the last 25 years, recent analyses suggest that the results don't support its claims. Critics have begun to argue that, by chasing jaywalkers, cities are wasting resources. Is it time to forget about broken windows?