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Museum of Broken Windows


Please visit for 2023 dates, times and location.


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 The strategy of broken windows policing is outdated and has never been proven to be effective at reducing crime.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.

Exhibiting Artists

Allison Geyer
Ann Lewis
Baz Dreisinger
Brian Palmer
Cleo Wade
Devin Allen
Dread Scott
Gabe Kirchheimer
Gautam Kansara
Glen Stubbe/AP
Hank Willis Thomas 
Jeff Gipe
Jesse Krimes
Jonathan Bachman/Reuters
Jordan Weber
Joseph DeLapp
Keith Haring
Mark Peterson
Michael D’Antuono
Mike McCarn/AP
Molly Crabapple
Nafis White
Nina Berman
Ricky Flores
Robert Cohen/AP
Russell Craig
Sam Durant
Seth Wenig/AP
Ti-Rock Moore
Tracy Hetzel

2018 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), Jumaane Williams (New York City Council Member for the 45th District), 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), Ramon Garcia (NYPD school safety division), 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), John Pfaff (Professor of law and Author of Locked In), 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, 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.


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Civil Liberties Union