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What is James Wilson and George Kelling's "Broken Window Theory"? How would you describe the connection between the "order-maintenance" function of policing and crime control according to Wilson and Kelling?

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James Wilson and George Kelling's "broken window theory" is a theory in criminology which posits that allowing a neighborhood to be derelict, abandoned, and/or un-patrolled will lead to an increase in crime. The theory's name derives from their thought experiment in which a broken window in a home or commercial...

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James Wilson and George Kelling's "broken window theory" is a theory in criminology which posits that allowing a neighborhood to be derelict, abandoned, and/or un-patrolled will lead to an increase in crime. The theory's name derives from their thought experiment in which a broken window in a home or commercial building—whether inhabited or not—will tempt criminals to break in.

The theory also posits that signs of a disorderly community and disobedience in general will influence the collective mentality of the neighborhood. For instance, if the residents see multiple abandoned houses in their neighborhood and they do nothing to resolve the issue, they will become complacent, and a mentality of apathy will perpetuate.

Order-Maintenance is simply another term for Broken Window Theory. The application of the theory is singular and well-defined. In this method of policing, minor offenses—for example, illegal parking, loitering, littering, and so on—are punished to set an example for the rest of the community. If minor issues are addressed and resolved immediately, then the probability of major crimes occurring could be reduced.

This style of policing is often seen during martial law. For example, during martial law, it is common for the government to set curfews. Law enforcement officers can then patrol neighborhoods easily and directly respond to minor crimes, which should, theoretically, prevent major crimes from happening.

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