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Project Safe Neighborhoods Case Study Report: Southern District of Alabama (Case Study 10)

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2007
37 pages
This case study of the federally supported Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) in the Southern District of Alabama focuses on the characteristics and outcomes of this district's efforts to reduce gun violence under the PSN goals and strategies.
The Southern District of Alabama is one of three Federal districts in the State. The largest city is Mobile, and this city became the initial focus of PSN, due to the concentration of the district's gun crime in this city; in addition, gunshot admissions to the local trauma center declined during this period; however, homicides with a gun did not change significantly. During this same period, property crime increased slightly, and the analyses indicated that the decline in gun crime held after controlling for the trend in property crime. This suggests that the decline in gun crime was due to the impact of PSN rather than a general decline in all crime. The gun-crime reduction strategies in the district were based on a Project Exile type of approach, which coupled increased Federal prosecution with a media campaign that communicated a deterrence message. The strategy is based on the incapacitation of serious chronic offenders as well as a change in the perception among the offender population regarding the threat of punishment for illegal possession and use of a gun. Instead of the traditional task force structure, the district used a less structured format. Key officials from the Mobile Police Department (MPD), ATF, and the U.S. Attorney's Office stayed within their agencies, but worked daily to focus on gun crime. A gun coordinator within MPD screened all gun cases and funneled all eligible gun cases through ATF to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Federal prosecution. Procedures of problem analysis under the PSN strategy are described. 2 figures, 4 tables, and 11 references

Date Published: March 1, 2007