The “Broken Windows” Theory and its Application in Today’s Society
The “broken windows” theory as explained in the article; which holds that physical detoriation and an increase in unrepaired buildings leads to increased concerns for personal safety of residents and a rise in the crime rates, is an applicable theory for the conditions in the inner cities. I believe it also can apply to the current conditions in some suburban areas that are degrading, such as the local town of Norristown where I grew up.
Norristown up until the 1960’s and the rise in drug use, was peaceful little mini-city in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Growing up in Norristown, my father would tell me stories of neighbors taking care of neighbors during tough economic times, and even fearing getting in trouble because everyone in the neighborhood would hit him before he got home to his father. The area hangouts were always clean and peaceful, and the houses were up kept. There still was crime, but it wasn’t always violent or prevalent. That all changed in his estimation by the late 1960’s.
The drug culture entered into the area, and houses started to become run-down due to numerous squatters living 10-15 at the time in them. Area hangouts became dangerous, and he said they would have to literally fight other groups to be allowed to use the basketball courts. Violent crimes with weapons rose, and so did murder. During the 1970’s and the 1980’s, older residents began moving out in droves despite the Council’s attempts to institute tougher crime-fighting tactics. By the turn of the 2000’s, many neighborhoods looked rundown and were dangerous. I was born in Norristown in 1986 and lived there until my parents were able to move out in 1998. Drugs were rampant, crime was bad, and my mother never let me leave the house without someone older and trustworthy escorting me. If you took the time walking down in the neighborhoods, which we did a lot to get to school, you noticed many of the things...
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