Sunday Meeting: Crime and the Broken-Window Theory

Thirty-two years ago sociologists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling promoted their “broken-window theory” as a way to explain the behavior of people regarding public disorder and community neglect. The theory was used to defend policing strategies under then Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the “quality of life” ordinances inspired by the theory were used to explain the dramatic decrease in crime in the early ’90s in New York City. Recently, the theory has come back into debate with the appointment of Police Commissioner William Bratton, who was the chief advocate of broken-window theory inspired policies under Giuliani. What does the theory purport and why has it become so controversial? What evidence supports the theory, and what evidence supports other underlying causes of the behavior? Environmentalist and Ethical Culture Leader Curt Collier will give his take on the theory, and why it may need a fresher, and broader, look.

Charles16e - Flickr

Charles16e – Flickr











When: Sun., October 26, 2014 at 11:00 am
Where: New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 W. 64th St.
212-874-5210
Price: Free
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Thirty-two years ago sociologists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling promoted their “broken-window theory” as a way to explain the behavior of people regarding public disorder and community neglect. The theory was used to defend policing strategies under then Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the “quality of life” ordinances inspired by the theory were used to explain the dramatic decrease in crime in the early ’90s in New York City. Recently, the theory has come back into debate with the appointment of Police Commissioner William Bratton, who was the chief advocate of broken-window theory inspired policies under Giuliani. What does the theory purport and why has it become so controversial? What evidence supports the theory, and what evidence supports other underlying causes of the behavior? Environmentalist and Ethical Culture Leader Curt Collier will give his take on the theory, and why it may need a fresher, and broader, look.

Charles16e - Flickr

Charles16e – Flickr

Buy tickets/get more info now