Broken Windows Theory

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Pages: 5

The two topics that I found interesting and decided to write my essay on are (1) the Terry v. Ohio case, which elaborates on the stop and frisk policy and (2) Broken windows theory. Both topics are discussed in Chapters 1, 4, and 6 of Burns.
Terry v. Ohio: Stop and Frisk Policy
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In Chapter 1: The Police: An Introduction, court case Terry v. Ohio is briefly discussed. This case caused the Supreme Court to reexamine the Fourth Amendment’s protection of unlawful search and seizures. In 1968 the federal class-action lawsuit, Terry v. Ohio established the legal basis for police officers to stop, question and frisk United States citizens. This case questioned whether it was unreasonable for a police officer to seize a person and
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Police community interaction has changed from being reactive to now taking a proactive approach towards crime. Chapter 4 Police Work discusses zero tolerance policing, which coincides with the broken windows theory. As stated “zero tolerance policing is a policing style that is rooted in the broken window’s hypothesis and attempts to address small infractions that could arguably lead to larger ones” (Burns, 2013, …show more content…
My main focus is on the broken windows theory. In regards to the broken windows theory some police strategies used to lessen or prevent crime are: “misdemeanor arrests, situational prevention, and citizen involvement” (Skolnick & Bayley, 1988, p.2). This theory mentions that disorder in neighborhoods cause crime. When there is police presence in the neighborhood, for example a pro-active approach such as foot patrol; the community feels safer. Such an approach leads to a positive outcome. Citizens become involved with the police and work together to better the community. When there is a lack of police presence, this causes disorder within the neighborhoods leading to broken windows on a building, which if not taken care of can lead to a pattern with other buildings. Lack of care in a neighborhood makes it prone to crime. According to Skolnick & Bayley (1988), “broken street lights and windows vacant lots filled with garbage, abandoned or burned-out buildings and cars, and gang graffiti are common examples of physical disorder” (p.24). Such disorder causes citizens to fear for their safety and lead them to move to a different neighborhood where disorder is absent or another option is to minimize their presence and daily routines in their neighborhood; keeping