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Making It Happen: How States Can Encourage and Benefit From Local Planning and Action To Prevent Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
This paper considers how States can benefit from assisting local crime-prevention efforts; why the time is right for such State assistance; and what States can do to promote local action-focused, crime-prevention planning.
States should spur local, comprehensively grounded planning and action against crime because this is where many of the proven preventive strategies can be best implemented. The benefits for States through such assistance for local governments include the leveraging of resources, opportunities for inter-jurisdictional coordination of problem-solving, help with problems that concern the State as well as the community, and the enlistment of local residents who are knowledgeable about crime-related issues and possible solutions. Among the reasons why the time is right for States to encourage local crime-prevention planning is persistent community concern about crime and the fear of crime, dramatic growth in community policing, the increasing decentralization of government services, and research that has documented the need for community-based actions to reduce violence. States can have vital roles in three areas to stimulate local crime-prevention planning. First, the State can establish conditions that encourage, entice, or mandate local initiation and completion of planning efforts and their implementation. Second, States can themselves model the partnership, joint planning, and mutually beneficial work products that local jurisdictions can emulate. Third, States can remove barriers that make full participation by State officials in local initiatives difficult, cumbersome, or impossible. This paper also outlines what characterizes an effective community plan and how it can be implemented. 18 notes and a list of 27 resources