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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1565494
 
 

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Order-Maintenance Agenda as Land Use Policy


Nicole Stelle Garnett


Notre Dame Law School

2010

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, Forthcoming
Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 10-07

Abstract:     
Debates about the broken windows hypothesis focus almost exclusively on whether the order-maintenance agenda represents wise criminal law policy — specifically on whether, when, and at what cost, order-maintenance policing techniques reduce serious crime. These questions are important, but incomplete. This Essay, which was solicited for a symposium on urban-development policy, considers potential benefits of order-maintenance policies other than crime-reduction, especially reducing the fear of crime. The Broken Windows essay itself urged that attention to disorder was important not just because disorder was a precursor to more serious crime, but also because disorder undermined residents’ sense of security. The later scholarly explications of the broken windows hypothesis also emphasize the connection between restoring the perception of security and its reality. One reason that social norms scholars link disorder and crime is that disorder has a predictable effect on law-abiding citizens: those with financial resources move away from, or choose not to move into, disorderly neighborhoods; those without resources remain inside and avoid public places. Even if these reactions (somewhat surprisingly) do not lead to more crime in a community, they certainly disadvantage city neighborhoods vis-à-vis their suburban alternatives. Moreover, and importantly, the goals of reducing crime and of helping poor, inner-city residents feel better about, and more vested in, their communities are not necessarily coterminous; order-maintenance policies might achieve the latter without achieving the former. In other words, it might be the case that order-maintenance policies “work” even if they do not curb serious crime.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: order-maintenance, broken windows, social norms, crime, land-use policy, urban development, social capital, fear

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Date posted: March 8, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Garnett, Nicole Stelle, Order-Maintenance Agenda as Land Use Policy (2010). Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, Forthcoming; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 10-07. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1565494

Contact Information

Nicole Stelle Garnett (Contact Author)
Notre Dame Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States
574-631-3091 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.nd.edu/faculty/facultypages/garnettn.html
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