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Community Responses to Drug Abuse National Demonstration Program: Impact Evaluation Report Draft

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1997
159 pages
A nationally recognized effort conducted in nine cities to prevent and deter drug abuse and drug-related crime was assessed by means of an impact evaluation.
Ten sites in the Community Response to Drug Abuse demonstration planned and implemented a variety of anti-drug programs over a 3-year period. Central to the community-based process was the identification of local community problems, the creation of a detailed work plan with program goals and objectives to address the problems, and the formation of a multi-agency task force to help plan and oversee program development. The impact evaluation used a pretest-post-test design that included telephone surveys at 6 sites, panel surveys at 3 sites 12 and 27 months after program implementation, and the use of comparison areas that matched the 3 sites that were intensively analyzed. Findings offered mixes support for community mobilization and the implant hypothesis. In the best-case test, data suggested that community organizations were effective in increasing levels of citizen awareness and participation in anti-drug activities and that these community interventions were followed by other actions and effects. However, the program did not change attitudes about citizen empowerment, fear of crime, or actual use of neighborhood parks and stores. Results can be characterized as more positive than those of previous evaluations of community-based anti-crime initiatives and suggested that community organizations can make a difference if they involve a well-planned, intensive, and persistent effort. However, the independent sample results and the results from the six-site analysis were not as encouraging as the best-case results. At best, community mobilization efforts can have selective positive effects on perceptions and behaviors under optimal organizing conditions. Tables, figures, appended instrument and additional tables, and 42 references

Date Published: January 1, 1997