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Collaborative Approach to Eliminating Street Drug Markets Through Focused Deterrence

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2009
215 pages
This final report presents the results of an evaluation of using focused deterrence to eliminate street drug markets.
This project conducted a process evaluation and outcome analysis of a multi-dimensional, partnership-based, focused deterrence strategy used by two mid-sized cities in North Carolina to combat open-air drug markets. There were two main goals of the project: 1) to model and describe the elements, developmental stages, and operational steps of the street-drug intervention; and 2) to measure the impact of the strategy across several groups of stakeholders, namely law enforcement, business owners, community residents, offenders, and community workers. Several data sources were used to meet the objectives of the project including interviews with the key stakeholder groups, notification of offenders, focus groups with community residents, a systematic neighborhood observation, and analysis of crime impact indicators. Main findings from interactions with key stakeholders include the following: for law enforcement personnel, the use of a data-driven approach, engaging the police department internally, and conducting a thorough and in-depth undercover investigation were important aspects of the strategy; community residents who lived in the drug-impacted areas were able to assist in deterring criminal behaviors in their own communities thereby providing insight into the activities occurring in their communities; notified offenders were able to provide insights into the deterrence strategy and its implementation; and mixed results were evident when assessing the strategy's impact on violent and drug crime indicators. Implications for policy and directions for future research are discussed. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes

Date Published: March 1, 2009