Weed and Seed is a community-based approach that targets reducing and preventing crime while revitalizing the community.
Program Components/Key Personnel
Weed and Seed aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent, drug, and gang activity in high-crime areas by having law enforcement and prosecutors work to “weed” out criminals. Community revitalization is addressed by “seeding” human services focused on prevention, intervention, and neighborhood development. Neighborhood revitalization efforts generally focus on economic development, employment opportunities for residents, and the physical environment of the neighborhood.
The multilevel approach encouraged by Weed and Seed includes the participation of law enforcement, the use of community policing, and the introduction of prevention and treatment interventions, as well as neighborhood revitalization efforts. A key role is played by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide leadership in guiding multiagency efforts and mobilizing key stakeholders. Many sites develop joint task forces that help coordinate law enforcement agencies from all levels of government. Community policing efforts focus on engaging the community and using a problem-solving approach to tackling identified problems. Every site is required to have a Safe Haven, which is a multiservice center that delivers both youth- and adult-oriented services. These are often housed in a school or a community center.
Weed and Seed in Miami, Fla.
There are more than 250 Weed and Seed sites across the country, which can vary dramatically in size (they can cover populations ranging from 3,000 to 50,000). Weed and Seed in the Southern District of Florida was first funded beginning in 1997. It started in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Fla., and began with a gang crackdown to shut down a violent narcotics distribution organization terrorizing that neighborhood. This crackdown resulted in the conviction of 38 gang members from two gangs. Many of early activities of the Weed and Seed initiative focused on hot spots found in the Scott/Carver housing development and the dividing line between the City and County jurisdictions.
The Miami/Miami–Dade Weed and Seed community-based organization also manages a local Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is a gun reduction partnership, and the program, Operation Save our Streets (or SOS), which focuses on crime prevention through social development. “Seeding” activities include job fairs, school-based drug use prevention programs, lead awareness campaigns, and neighborhood beautification projects. Since 1997, an additional 10 sites have been added in the Southern District.
Roman and colleagues (2005) found no significant reduction in violent offenses in the
The analysis revealed that a significant increase in drug offenses occurred after the crackdown in the treatment area, but not in the comparison or catchment areas. One might interpret this as a successful intermediate outcome if it is the case that the volume of drug-related crime reflects police prioritization of this type of offense. That is, the police may have been detecting more drug crime than before. It is difficult to interpret this finding with certainty.
No displacement was observed.