James Q. Wilson, coauthor of the broken window theory
His ‘Broken Windows’ theory helped reduce crime
Three decades ago, James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling pooled their intellects to examine whether increasing police foot patrols would lower the crime rate in rough neighborhoods. As they cowrote an influential Atlantic Monthly article that would become a touchstone for the community policing movement, Dr. Wilson seized on the image of a shattered pane of glass, a potent symbol of urban decay. Disheveled cars and buildings could breed neighborhoods rife with neglect, but police could keep disorder at bay.