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Community Partners: "Doing Doors" as a Community Crime Prevention Strategy

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 20 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 295-312
Mary Ann Farkas; Richard S. Jones
Date Published
September 2007
18 pages
Evaluation results are presented for the Community Partner Program in Milwaukee, WI, which uses intermediaries known as Community Partners to motivate, organize, and build relationships for crime prevention efforts through personal contacts ("doing doors") with residents of 20 high-crime areas.
Community Partners reported considerable success in their efforts to mobilize residents in crime prevention activities. Many neighborhoods are now forming their own block watches and resident associations; however, there are still neighborhoods in which the Community Partners are having difficulty in motivating residents to change their behaviors and attitudes toward involvement in community-based crime prevention. The Community Partners report that for many residents, fruitful interactions will take time to build. Their approach to "doing doors" has required a thorough knowledge of their neighborhood, including an assessment of criminal activity, problem residents, and physical and social disorder. In neighborhoods with "hot spots" of crime, Community Partners have learned to be more safety conscious when going door to door. Problems in sustaining the initial commitment to partnering for crime prevention and with ongoing communication have surfaced among some of the neighborhoods. Most Community Partners acknowledge that they need to develop personal relations with neighborhood agencies and organizations as well as with neighborhood residents. Further research is required to investigate the most effective use of intermediaries in the development of crime prevention partnerships. These findings are based on interviews with 22 community partners who are working in targeted, high-crime urban neighborhoods in Milwaukee. This was part of a larger evaluation of Milwaukee's Safe & Sound Initiative, which was conducted between 1998 and 2001. 3 notes and 20 references