Quiet-List 1997

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Re: "Quality of Life" and Violent Crime

>In a message dated 97-12-18 20:08:32 EST, Sean writes:
>>From several articles I have read, there seems to be a wide-spread belief
>>developing among law enforcement officials in the US that cracking down on
>>"quality of life" issues like noise pollution, graffiti and vandalism, have
>>a positive impact on the levels of more serious crime, including assualt
>>and murder.
> Cool. This sound great.  Can you give specific citations to the
> articles?  They need to be distributed to local cops, politicians,
> and judges.
>   -- Michael Wright

Most of the articles I read gave only vague references to NYC's program,
but there is a very good article on NYC's crime reduction program at:


which discusses the "Broken Windows Theory,"  which is based on the
observation that if someone breaks a window in a building which is not
quickly repaired, the other windows will soon be broken as well, and the
ensuing sense of disorder creates an atmosphere of apathy and neglect in
whch other crimes will  begin to flourish. Unfortunately, this article only
discusses quality of life enforcement in general, and I am looking for
something a little meatier that focuses specifically on noise enforcement
*alone* and its impact on serious crime. Somehow, I doubt harrassing the
homeless has quite the impact on crime that  cracking down on boom-car
barbarians does.

Another potential source of information is the book: "Fixing Broken
Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities." by George
Kelling, a fellow in criminal justice at Harvard. I haven't read the book
yet, nor do I know much about it.

Sean Conlon

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