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MisdemeanorlandCriminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing$
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Issa Kohler-Hausmann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196114

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196114.001.0001

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The Rise of Mass Misdemeanors

The Rise of Mass Misdemeanors

(p.25) 1 The Rise of Mass Misdemeanors

Issa Kohler-Hausmann

Princeton University Press

This chapter briefly recounts the origins of the policing experiment of the early 1990s that flew under the Broken Windows banner. It also explores how that experiment has become an institutionalized feature of New York City's law enforcement since then. The history is tailored to highlight those changes in enforcement that most affected the flow and composition of cases into the lower criminal courts. It also portrays how the justifications for this policing model demanded bureaucratic practices that in turn shaped how these low-level cases came to be processed by criminal justice actors. Specifically, the chapter emphasizes the new record-keeping and record-sharing practices that the police and courts innovated in this period in an effort to mark suspected persons for later encounters and to check up on prior records to identify and target persistent or serious offenders.

Keywords:   Broken Windows, New York City, law enforcement, New York Police Department, lower criminal courts, bureaucratic practices, police record keeping, police record sharing

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