Summary of Broken Windows
The broken windows theory is an academic theory proposed by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982. The academic theory, which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, states that signs of disorder in a neighborhood, like a broken window, encourages petty crimes and leads to more serious crimes. This postulation was adopted by the New York City Police Department and led to the criminalization of poverty and the over-policing of Black and Brown communities at disproportionate rates. The theory has never been proven to be effective at reducing crime.
NYCLU | Museum of Broken Windows
The Museum of Broken Windows is a pop-up experience in New York City, which features the work of artists from around the country. The Museum showcases the ineffectiveness of broken windows policing, which criminalizes our most vulnerable communities. The strategy of broken windows policing is outdated and has never been proven to be effective at reducing crime. For decades, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by broken windows policing.
It is time for a change. New Yorkers are coming together for important conversations on policing and what it means to feel and be safe. Using art and creativity, the Museum of Broken Windows will provide a powerful and emotional experience that critically looks at the system of policing in New York. The Museum of Broken Windows is a project of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Hank Willis Thomas
Schedule of Events
Monday, September 24, 7pm
Shattered: The Continuing, Damaging, and Disparate Legacy of Broken Windows Policing in New York City. Johanna Miller (NYCLU), Brandon Holmes (Just Leadership USA) and Brett Stoudt, PhD (CUNY Graduate Center & John Jay College) discuss the NYCLU’s community survey about police experiences and our findings and recommendations.
Tuesday, September 25, 7pm
Changing the NYPD: Achieving True Accountability for Officer Conduct and Misconduct. A panel of police reform experts including Michael Sisitzky (NYCLU) and Joo-Hyun Kang (Communities United for Police Reform) discuss the promise and shortcomings of current police accountability measures and ideas for improving these systems in the future.
Wednesday, September 26, 7pm
Ending the School To Prison Pipeline. Donna Lieberman (NYCLU), Jasmine Gripper (Alliance for Quality Education), and Janelle Matias (The Brotherhood/Sister Sol) discuss ongoing efforts to end the involvement of police in school discipline matters.
Thursday, September 27, 7pm
Smart Justice. A panel of experts including Nicole Triplett (NYCLU), Rashad Robinson (Color Of Change), and Darren Mack (Just Leadership USA) discuss how Broken Windows police tactics drive the mass incarceration crisis in New York, and how we can achieve smarter justice.
Saturday, September 29, 3pm
Ending the Police Secrecy Law. Family members of people who have been killed by police will speak about the impact of a state law that shields police misconduct records from public scrutiny. They will also discuss efforts to repeal that law this legislative session. *Please check back for exact start time*
Saturday, September 29, 7pm
Screening: Crime + Punishment. A screening of the new Hulu documentary Crime + Punishment, about the NYPD 12, a group of officers of color who challenged the NYPD’s quota system.
Visit the Museum
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 10 AM - 8 PM and on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 9 PM
Location: 9 W 8th Street, New York, NY 10011