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Columbia Law School

Criminal Law

Disorder and crime

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2007

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

The pattern of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in New York City since the introduction of broken windows policing in 1994 – nicely documented in this issue in Andrew Golub, Bruce Johnson, and Eloise Dunlap's article (2007) – is almost enough to make an outside observer ask: Who thought of this idea in the first place? And what were they smoking?

By the year 2000, arrests on misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana in public view (MPV) had reached a peak of 51,267 for the city, up 2,670% from 1,851 arrests in 1994. In 1993, the year before broken windows policing ...


Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2006

Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

In 1982, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling suggested in an influential article in the Atlantic Monthly that targeting minor disorder could help reduce more serious crime. More than twenty years later, the three most populous cities in the United States – New York, Chicago, and, most recently, Los Angeles – have all adopted at least some aspect of Wilson and Kelling's theory, primarily through more aggressive enforcement of minor misdemeanor laws. Remarkably little, though, is currently known about the effect of broken windows policing on crime.

According to a recent National Research Council report, existing research does not provide strong ...


Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2006

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

The pattern of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in New York City since the introduction of "broken windows" policing in 1994 is remarkable. By the year 2000, arrests on misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana in public view (MPV) had reached 51,267 for the city, up 2,670 percent from 1,851 arrests in 1994. In 2000, misdemeanor MPV arrests accounted for 15 percent of all felony and misdemeanor arrests in New York City and 92 percent of total marijuana-related arrests in the State of New York. In addition, the pattern of arrests disproportionately targeted African-Americans and Hispanics.

In this paper, we ...


Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2005

Broken Windows: New Evidence From New York City And A Five-City Social Experiment, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

In 1982, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling suggested in an influential article in the Atlantic Monthly that targeting minor disorder could help reduce more serious crime. More than 20 years later, the three most populous cities in the U.S. – New York, Chicago and, most recently, Los Angeles – have all adopted at least some aspect of Wilson and Kelling's theory, primarily through more aggressive enforcement of minor misdemeanor laws. Remarkably little, though, is currently known about the effect of broken windows policing on crime.

According to a recent National Research Council report, existing research does not provide strong ...


Policing L.A.'S Skid Row: Crime And Real Estate Development In Downtown Los Angeles [An Experiment In Real Time], Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2005

Policing L.A.'S Skid Row: Crime And Real Estate Development In Downtown Los Angeles [An Experiment In Real Time], Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Disorderly neighborhoods in the United States were the center of heated debate and much political initiative at the turn of the twenty-first century. Among criminal law scholars, sociologists, and students of policing, New York City drew the most attention, and presented the question whether order-maintenance policing really brought down crime and transformed disorderly neighborhoods like Times Square into high-end, commercially viable, urban communities. In this debate, the NYPD was generally the lead protagonist and crime reduction the dominant plot.

But is that right? Did the NYPD's "broken windows" policing really lead the urban renewal in New York City? Or ...