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Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax: COMBAT in Jackson County, Missouri

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1996
15 pages
Publication Series
When residents of Kansas City and other areas of Jackson County, Missouri, felt they were losing their neighborhoods to drugs and drug-related crimes, they enacted a sales tax in 1989 to fund a broad-based attack against drugs.
The Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax, known as COMBAT, was originally set to expire in 1997, but 71 percent of the voters supported a second referendum in 1995 to renew the tax for another 7 years. Although other States have used taxes or given counties the authority to use taxes for antidrug programs, COMBAT has several distinctive features: (1) full range of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement activities; (2) centralized administrative structure; (3) focus on jailing dangerous criminals and drug dealers, with money earmarked to support police investigations, prosecution, circuit court, and corrections; (4) treatment of nonviolent offenders who honestly want to overcome their dependency; and (5) drug prevention programs for children. Indications of COMBAT's accomplishments include partnerships among agencies and across geographic boundaries, greater sensitivity and responsiveness to neighborhood concerns, better coordination between treatment providers and criminal justice system agencies, and success in gaining the cooperation and vigilance of community residents. As part of COMBAT, the Jackson County prosecuting attorney's office is developing data systems to assess program client needs and to monitor program service effectiveness. 6 notes, 1 exhibit, 1 figure, and 2 photographs

Date Published: July 1, 1996