• Project Title: Broken Windows: An Investigation of Disorder and Crime in Urban Communities

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. Parson

  • Internship Location: CSAA Insurance Group

  • Onsite Mentor: Ms. Amy Carlson

The Broken Windows Theory predicts that areas with a greater concentration of disorder result in higher crime rates, especially in “quality-of-life” crimes. Due to this assumption, broken windows policing attempts to decrease fear and crime by reducing the visible manifestations of disorder in a community. Although broken windows policing may seem like a valid solution to crime and violence in urban areas, it may also perpetuate racially centered policing in lower-income communities. Working with the CSAA Insurance Group, this experiment seeks to investigate the difference between observed and perceived disorder, the relationship between disorder and crime, and the effectiveness of broken windows policing by recording the level of visible manifestations of disorder in the Oakland community and comparing this value to secondary data provided by local rights groups and governments. Ultimately, this paper suggests a more effective method of policing for the Oakland community, which may be generalized to similar low-income communities around the nation.