Weed and Seed Evaluation

Article excerpt

Since 1991, Operation Weed and Seed has attempted to control violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime and to provide a safe environment for residents to live, work, and raise their families. Starting with three initial grant sites in Kansas City, Missouri; Trenton, New Jersey; and Omaha, Nebraska, Weed and Seed has grown to include 200 sites nationwide. The program strategically links concentrated and enhanced law enforcement efforts to identify, arrest, and prosecute violent offenders, drug traffickers, and other criminals operating in the target areas and community policing (weeding) with human services--including after-school, weekend, and summer youth activities; adult literacy classes; and parental counseling--and neighborhood revitalization efforts to prevent and deter further crime (seeding).

Recently, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) conducted a national evaluation of the program by selecting eight sites (Hartford, Connecticut; Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Florida; Shreveport, Louisiana; Las Vegas, Nevada; Akron, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Seattle, Washington) that represented different aspects of Weed and Seed. While each site had its own distinctive crime problems, they all shared high rates of violent crime related to drug trafficking and drug use, and most had serious gang-related crime problems. …