The Broken Window Theory By James Q. Wilson Essay

2336 Words Apr 25th, 2015 null Page
Graffiti is not only an eyesore but it can also be the catalyst for more sinister criminal behavior. Penal Code 594 PC, California’s vandalism and graffiti law prohibits maliciously doing any of the following things to someone else’s property: defacing it with graffiti or other written material, damaging it, or destroying it. The Broken Window Theory introduced by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982, is a guideline that has helped form the way that communities intercept criminal activity today. Kelling (1982) explains that the Broken Window Theory states that small instances of disorder and misconduct left unchecked will surely lead to larger problems in the community. The graffiti and “tagging” that is a constant plague on the Compton area has a more serious undertone to it than just paint on a wall. Gangs often use tagging as a means of marking territory. By allowing tagging and other “small nuisances” the city of Compton’s crime rate and level of gang involvement will surely rise and become even more prevalent. The problem of graffiti also creates a negative atmosphere around the city of Compton, which can lead to lower property values, a decrease in community pride, and a decent into Urban Blight. Having pride in a community is of vital importance, one of the cornerstones of the Neighborhood Watch Program and Crime Prevention efforts by Law Enforcement agencies is the idea that there simply cannot be a police officer on every corner. It is for…

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