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National Evaluation of Weed and Seed: Pittsburgh Case Study Research Report

NCJ Number
Timothy Bynum; Gregory Mills; Kristen Jacoby
Date Published
June 1999
58 pages
This case study documents the activities implemented under the Weed and Seed program in Pittsburgh and assesses the impact of this program, which was designed to control violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in targeted high-crime neighborhoods and to provide safe settings free of crime and drug use.
Information for the evaluation was collected by means of onsite observations of program activities; personal interviews with program staff, police personnel, community leaders, service providers, and participants; a review of program documents; a survey of target area residents; and an analysis of computerized crime and arrest records provided by the local police agency. The Weed and Seed program served as a vehicle for organizing various Federal, State, and local initiatives. The program began in April 1992 at one site. A second Weed and Seed community was established in February 1996; the third community began Weed and Seed activities in March 1997. Activities included street-level drug law enforcement; prevention and intervention through health screening, services, and counseling for mental illness and drug abuse; academic courses; job training, job development, and small business development; summer youth jobs and community service projects; community organization and self-help initiatives; and others. Training has been an important component of the Pittsburgh approach to Weed and Seed. The evaluation data also indicated that Weed and Seed appears to have contributed to substantial short-term improvements in the target areas. These include reduced crime rates and improved perceptions of public safety, police responsiveness, and community quality of life. Findings also indicated that through the existence of a supportive setting and dedicated and talented leadership, the Weed and Seed philosophy should continue to thrive in Pittsburgh long after the termination of the Federal role. Figures, tables, and footnotes