Wilson is the author of that theory, entitled the Broken Windows. According to this New York Times story, the theory essentially is:
that when the police emphasize the maintenance of order rather than the piecemeal pursuit of rapists, murderers and carjackers, concentrating on less threatening though often illegal disturbances in the fabric of urban life like street-corner drug-dealing, graffiti and subway turnstile-jumping, the rate of more serious crime goes down.
While he has been characterized as a neo-conservative, he has earned acclaim and respect as a reasoned and fair minded social scientist. I do not agree with every area of his crime and punishment theory, however I think the emphasis on order rather than piecemeal pursuit is a sound one.
I have written before that I think drug laws do disadvantage minorities considerably and fill up a lot of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Substance use and abuse is more of a health issue than a criminal one and the law would be well advised to remove these vices from its gambit.
Still he sounds like an interesting social scientist and I would be interested in his research on bureaucracy entitled: Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. That book "analyzed the inner workings of agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as prisons and schools, pointing out the general disconnect between the people at the top who make the policies and the people at the bottom who do the work." It will be helpful in my research areas as well. I will purchase that with my Chapters gift card this evening. :)
Finally, Robert Imbelli, over at Commonweal wrote about him as well. James Q. Wilson RIP. If Bob likes him, he must be good!!!