Wilson and Kelling posed a revolutionary theory: If the original windows were repaired, the escalating string of crimes that followed might be checked before it began. Kelling died this week; Wilson, in 2012.
Their theory has been celebrated by some, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former NYPD Chief William Bratton, as the driving force behind a historic reduction in crime in New York City in the 1990s. It’s also been questioned by many sociologists and criminologists, and associated with controversial policing practices such as New York’s “stop and frisk” program. For years, Kelling participated in the debate his work had sparked, clarifying his and Wilson’s reasoning and criticizing some of the ways others applied it.
, that debate will continue without him. Kelling described their thinking while writing the original article in a 2015 essay titled “An Author’s Brief History of an Idea.” “Although we believed that police should do something about disorder,” he wrote, “at that time we were not sure what—concerned as we were about issues of justice, equity, and racism and limited by the state of police thinking of the time.” They knew that the history of policing in America was rife with abuses of African American communities, he added in a follow-up piece, including the arrests and convictions of black men for minor crimes under the Black Codes. They also knew that their theory would likely ignite controversy, and could lead to accusations of racial profiling, or worse.
To read more CLICK HERE