The “Broken Windows” Theory and Community Supervision:


WethePeople                                           Public Safety is Sometimes a Matter of Appearance

By Joyce McGinnis, Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs (CSOSA Newslink, August 2003)

As CSOSA prepares to unveil its second Strategic Plan, which is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget, we should pause to remember the literature and statistics that support what we do. Our supervision practices are rooted in the rich soil of criminal justice scholarship.

One of the most influential theories in recent criminal justice literature is that of “broken windows.” This theory, originally introduced in 1969, has been the subject of heated debate in all areas of law enforcement. In an article in the Atlantic Monthly, James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling discussed a study of foot-patrol policing in Newark, New Jersey. Interestingly, although the presence or absence of officers on foot patrol did not influence crime rates in the city’s neighborhoods, citizens perceived they were safer—and that crime was lower—if they saw a cop on the beat. Wilson and Kelling argued that the perception of safety was in fact the result of the police officers performing an important function. Foot-patrol officers maintained a “surface” order in their neighborhoods. They silenced boisterous teenagers, moved loiterers along, and noted unusual activity. They provided a visible law enforcement presence. Because residents felt that presence, they were more likely to enforce the neighborhood’s “rules” themselves.

The authors also discussed an experiment performed with an abandoned car. If the car was placed on a street in the Bronx, it was stripped of all useful parts and destroyed within hours. In quieter, more affluent Palo Alto, California, the car was not ransacked unless it appeared to be damaged. After the study’s authors smashed one window with a sledgehammer, passersby viewed the car as “disposable” and soon joined in the destructive fun.

Wilson and Kelling summarized their views as follows:

Untended property becomes fair game for people out for fun or plunder and even for people who ordinarily would not dream of doing such things and who probably consider themselves law-abiding…We suggest that “untended” behavior also leads to the breakdown of community controls. A stable neighborhood … can change, in a few years or even a few months, to an inhospitable and frightening jungle.

This theory had a significant impact on all aspects of law enforcement that touch the community. The “community policing” and “restorative justice” movements can be traced to this theory. Community involvement, partnership with law enforcement officers, and the idea that offenders should make amends with the community are all linked to the idea that visible involvement brings visible results. If people appear to care, then potential criminals will believe that they do care—and will respect their rights and their property.

By the close of the 1990s, public policymakers began to examine the applicability of the “broken windows” model to community supervision. A group of practitioners and policymakers convened as the Reinventing Probation Council in 1998. Their report, “Transforming Probation Through Leadership: The ‘Broken Windows’ Model” appeared in August 1999. Both the report and subsequent commentary on it have influenced CSOSA’s approach to community supervision.

The “broken windows” model of probation maintains that the primary “product” of community supervision is not services delivered to those under supervision, but public safety for the entire community. The authors argued that public confidence in community supervision had eroded significantly, and that to rebuild it, administrators and policymakers must adopt an approach that redefines the “customer” of community supervision to encompass all citizens—offenders, victims, and ordinary individuals. To that end, the authors articulated seven principles through which community supervision can be “reinvented”:

  1. Place public safety first;
  2. Supervise probationers in the neighborhood, not the office;
  3. Rationally allocate resources;
  4. Provide for strong enforcement of probation conditions and a quick response to violations;
  5. Develop partners in the community;
  6. Establish performance-based initiatives; and
  7. Cultivate strong leadership.

CSOSA has incorporated these principles into its program model. Our approach to community supervision is grounded in the idea that public safety is our most important outcome. Moreover, our Community Supervision Officers work in the community to maintain a visible law enforcement presence and contribute to public order.

While the “broken windows” model is a compelling statement of the public’s stake in effective community supervision, it does not address the significant needs and deficits that impede offenders’ desire to change. The offenders under CSOSA’s supervision must overcome significant functional deficits, poor work histories, and overwhelming drug addiction to establish a viable, crime-free lifestyle. A comprehensive community corrections system that ignores these needs and focuses solely on enforcement does little to increase public safety or public confidence.

Faye Taxman of the University of Maryland and James Byrne of the University of Massachusetts articulated this deficiency in a 2001 article, “Fixing ‘Broken Windows’ Probation.” Taxman and Byrne argued that treatment is an essential component of a successful, truly comprehensive community corrections strategy. They wrote:

Our review of the research … reveals that it is offender improvement in the areas of employment, substance abuse, personal and family problems that is directly related to recidivism reduction. At its core, offender change in these areas is precisely what probation officers should focus on during supervision.

In developing its supervision model, CSOSA recognized that the principles articulated in the “broken windows” model need not be viewed as conflicting with the provision of treatment and other support programming. On the contrary, the external control exercised through close supervision, meaningful sanctions, and surveillance drug testing can complement the offender’s participation in support programs. If the principles of “broken windows” are aimed at establishing a system of external accountability—the offender is watched and is punished when non-compliance is detected—treatment and other programming are intended to establish a system of internal accountability. Through success in treatment, education, job training, and other experiences, the offender learns that change is possible and desirable. He or she develops the desire to behave differently.

CSOSA’s supervision model adapts an influential theory to the realities of our population. It is a unique blend of accountability to the community and opportunity for the individual. Our success will therefore benefit both the public we serve and the offenders we supervise.

Resource: csosa.gov

Again, there are so many problems with the bw law … Ask yourself, does it lead to population control and civil rights abuses or establish a system of internal accountability, job training or education to gain access an alternative lifestyle.  If you listen to the people who experience the “brokenwindows” law, the practice seems to only occur in white communities and in some instances the model is a great path toward jail time that does not meet the charges rendered. It’s no shock that unemployment among men&women of colour is high then include an arrest that could be because you couldn’t pay for a ticket or a misdemeanor changes your life forever. The solutions seem easy … stop treating people of colour as if they need controlling offer equal education jobs and strive for income equality for all, #blacklivesmatter ~Nativegrl77

44 Women Who Have Run for President


 

Women Presidential Candidates

Women Who Ran for President

Who were the early women candidates for president? Hillary Clinton in her 2008 run for the Democratic nomination for US President came the closest so far that any woman has come to winning the nomination of a major political party in the United States. But Clinton is not the first woman to run for United States President, and not even the first to run for a major party’s nomination. Here’s a list of the female presidential candidates, arranged chronologically by each woman’s first campaign for the office. The list is current through the 2012 election; women running in 2016 will be added after that election’s over.

Who was the first woman to run for president?

What woman ran for US president first? And which women have run since?

73208640.jpg - Kean Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

American feminist politician and radical Victoria Claflin Woodhull and her sister Tennessee Claflin attempt to assert their right to vote in New York and are denied, circa 1875. Kean Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Victoria Woodhull

Equal Rights Party: 1872
Humanitarian Party: 1892

Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president in the United States. Frederick Douglass was nominated as Vice President, but there’s no record that he accepted. Woodhull was also known for her radicalism as a woman suffrage activist and her role in a sex scandal involving noted preacher of the time, Henry Ward Beecher. More »

Belva Lockwood - Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Modifications © 2003 Jone Johnson Lewis.

Belva Lockwood. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Modifications © 2003 Jone Johnson Lewis.

Belva Lockwood

National Equal Rights Party: 1884, 1888Belva Lockwood, an activist for voting rights for women and for African Americans, was also one of the earliest women lawyers in the United States. Her campaign for president in 1884 was the first full-scale national campaign of a woman running for president. More »

Laura Clay

Democratic Party, 1920Laura Clay, a Southern women’s rights advocate who supported state suffrage amendments so that the Southern states could limit suffrage to white women, had her name placed in nomination at the 1920 Democratic National Convention, to which she was a delegate. More »

Grace Allen

Surprise Party: 1940Comedian and actress, partner with husband George Burns on the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Grace Allen ran for president in 1940 as a publicity stunt. She was not on the ballot — it was, after all, a stunt — but she did get write-in votes.

Margaret Chase Smith

Republican Party: 1964She was the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for president at a major political party’s convention. She was also the first woman elected to serve in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. More »

Charlene Mitchell

Communist Party: 1968Nominated by the (tiny) Communist Party in 1968, Charlene Mitchell was the first African American woman nominated for president in the United States. She was on the ballot in two states in the general election, and received less than 1,100 votes nationally.

Shirley Chisholm Announcing Her Run for the Presidency 1972 - Don Hogan Charles/New York Times Co./Getty Images

Shirley Chisholm Announcing Her Run for the Presidency 1972. Don Hogan Charles/New York Times Co./Getty Images

Shirley Chisholm

Democratic Party: 1972A civil rights and women’s rights advocate, Shirley Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972 with the slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.” Her name was placed in nomination at the 1972 convention, and she won 152 delegates. More »

Patsy Takemoto Mink

Democratic Party: 1972She was the first Asian American to seek nomination as president by a major political party. She was on the Oregon primary ballot in 1972. She was at that time a member of the U.S. Congress, elected from Hawaii.

Bella Abzug in 1971 - Tim Boxer/Getty Images

Bella Abzug in 1971. Tim Boxer/Getty Images

Bella Abzug

Democratic Party: 1972One of three women to seek the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1972, Abzug was at the time a member of Congress from the West Side of Manhattan. More »

Linda Osteen Jenness

Socialist Workers Party: 1972Underage for the Constitution’s requirements for the presidency, Linda Jenness ran against Nixon in 1972 and was on the ballot in 25 states. In three states where Jenness was not accepted for the ballot because of her age, Evelyn Reed was in the presidential slot. Their vote total was less than 70,000 nationally.

U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop


U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop

The 78 million dogs living in the United States create 10 million tons of feces annually, polluting waterways and posing a threat to public health, according to a pet waste removal service asking Americans to pledge to scoop the poop this Earth Day.

Dog Waste Threatens Public Health

“Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency,” explains Virginia-based pet waste removal company Doody Calls in a press release. “The longer dog waste stays on the ground, the greater a contamination becomes. Bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in waste until it’s washed away into the water supply.”

USAToday reports that 40% of dog owners do not pick up their dog’s waste at all and all that waste pollutes waterways. Because scientists are able to track the origin of the fecal bacteria to the species that excreted it, we even know how much. One study showed as much as 90% of the fecal coliform in urban stormwater was of non-human origin, mostly dog.

In just a couple of days, 100 dogs can deposit enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all  watershed areas within 20 miles of it,                     to swimming  and fishing. Officials in Seattle consider waste from the city’s million dogs to be a major pollution source of Puget Sound. Dogs have also been shown to be a major source of water contamination in Clearwater, FL; Arlington, VA; and Boise, ID.

So What’s a Responsible Dog Owner to Do?

If you live in Cambridge, MA, you can drop your dog’s leavings into methane digesters to power the lights in some parks. If you live in Jefferson County, CO, you can join the poop patrol to remind your neighbors that there is no dog poo fairy (seriously). For the rest of us, the Natural Resources Defense Council has the following recommendations:

  • First, you definitely should not let your dog’s droppings lay near water ways, curbs, or even in your yard. What you should do is . . .
  • Wrap it in a plastic bag (biodegradable, corn-derived, or regular) and put it in the trash (though not all municipalities allow this).
  • Flush it. Dog waste can be managed by most sewage treatment systems and some septic tanks. (Do not flush cat waste because the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can survive sewage treatment plants.)
  • Install an underground pet waste digester. Basically a septic tank just for your pet.
  • Bury it in your yard. Keep pet waste away from vegetable gardens, the water table, and streams and buried at least 5 inches deep. Always cover fresh waste with with dirt.
  • Hire a poop collection service. Services will patrol your yard for poop on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.  What a service does with the waste will vary, but you won’t have to handle it yourself.

Related Reading

The Cool Way To Clean Up After Your Dog [Video]

Lights Powered by Dog Poop! (VIDEO)

NRDC Study Finds U.S. Beaches More Polluted Than Ever

Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America


immigrationMay 19th–would have been a historic day for millions of immigrant families. Today would have been the first day that undocumented parents would have been able to apply for DAPA. Today would have meant a reprieve from the threat of deportation and a giant step forward to keep immigrant families together. Instead, 26 anti-immigrant Republican Governors and Attorneys General decided to play politics with our families’ lives by filing a lawsuit blocking Expanded DACA and DAPA from moving forward.

Add your name NOW to demand that anti-immigrant Republicans drop their lawsuit immediately.

While anti-immigrant Republicans claim that their lawsuit is about the legality of President Obama’s Executive Action, we know that what this is really about is denying relief and justice to immigrants and their families. But our families cannot wait any longer. Every day that relief is delayed is another day that our families live in fear of deportation.

Stand with immigrant families and demand that the anti-DAPA/DACA lawsuit is dropped immediately!

We have no doubt that Republicans will try everything to deny our families justice. That is why we cannot give up or stop fighting.

Keep fighting for relief and add your name to the petition now!

With determination,

Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America

Recall: NHTSA Statement on Takata Air Bag Inflators


NHTSA logoNHTSA Statement on Takata Air Bag Inflators

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received notification from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota that they are conducting limited regional recalls to address a possible safety defect involving Takata brand air bag inflators.

“Today’s action is influenced by a NHTSA investigation into six reports of air bag inflator ruptures, all of which occurred in Florida and Puerto Rico.

“Based on the limited data available at this time, NHTSA supports efforts by automakers to address the immediate risk in areasthat have consistently hot, humid conditions over extended periods of time.

Consumers impacted by the recalls should have their vehicles serviced promptly once they receive notification from their vehicle manufacturer. NHTSA remains in close communication with the supplier and automakers to gather additional data and will take appropriate action based on our findings.”