DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2009
  • Office of Justice Programs
  • Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
  • (202) 307-0703


Project Safe Neighborhoods Program Proven Effective in National Study

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced research findings showing that the Project Safe Neighborhoods program (PSN) has been successful in reducing violent crime. An evaluation of the nation-wide program found a statistically significant decline in violent crime in cities where PSN existed or where the program — which targets gun crime, in particular — is vigorously implemented.

“These findings are important information for everyone working to keep our communities safe,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie Robinson. “The evidence of success with the PSN framework underscores the importance of continuing to develop crime and violence reduction approaches centered on cooperation and coordination.”

Project Safe Neighborhoods is an initiative to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gang crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. The program focuses on hiring new federal and state prosecutors, supporting investigators, providing training, distributing gun lock safety kits, deterring juvenile gun crime, and promoting community outreach efforts as well as supporting other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.  The enhanced use of crime analysis and tactical intelligence supports the program’s core strategies of targeted enforcement and deterrence.  Additional program information is available at

Funded by the Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice, Michigan State University (MSU) performed the evaluation using two methods. One method looked at the incidence of violent crime in nine U.S. cities prior to executing the PSN programs.  Those cities are; Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, NC; Lowell, Mass.; St. Louis, Mo.; Chicago, Ill.; Stockton, Cal.; and Montgomery and Mobile, Ala.  The decline in gun-related crime following the implementation of PSN ranged from a 6.6 percent decline to a 42 percent reduction.

The second method employed by MSU researchers studied violent crime in all U.S. cities with a population over 100,000.  The researchers found a 4.1 percent decline in cities where PSN existed, and a .09 percent decline in cities where PSN did not exist.  Even more striking, in jurisdictions with a high level of federal prosecution for gun crime, the findings revealed that these cities experienced a 13.1 percent decline in violent crime. In stark contrast, cities with low federal prosecution experienced an increase of 7.8 percent in violent crime.

Findings are available at and at  The full report, Project Safe Neighborhood: A National Program to Reduce Gun Crime, is available at


The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).  More information can be found at