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National Evaluation of Weed and Seed: Akron Case Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1999
47 pages
Publication Series

This case study documents the activities implemented under the Weed and Seed program in Akron, Ohio, one of eight sites for the National Evaluation of Weed and Seed, and assesses the program's impact at this site.


Unveiled in 1991, Operation Weed and Seed is an attempt to improve the quality of life in America's cities. The ultimate goals of Weed and Seed are to control violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in targeted high-crime neighborhoods and to provide a safe environment free of crime and drug use. The program is grounded in the philosophy that targeted areas can best be improved by a two-pronged strategy of "weeding" out violent offenders, drug traffickers, and other criminals by removing them from the targeted area and "seeding" the area with human services and neighborhood revitalization efforts. Community policing is intended to be the "bridge" between "weeding" and "seeding." The evaluation activities undertaken for this case study included onsite observation of program activities; in-person interviews with program staff, key law enforcement personnel, community leaders, service providers, and participants; review of program documents; a survey of target area residents; and analysis of computerized crime and arrest records provided by the local police department. The evaluation found that due to limited Weed and Seed funding, the program efforts have not been fully implemented in Akron; therefore, the evaluation findings should be considered in the context of other social service and law enforcement efforts that are already operating in Akron; they may also provide a backdrop for what may evolve into a fully operational Weed and Seed program. The average number of Part 1 crimes decreased in the target area in 1995, and then the number of crimes committed in the target area began to increase in 1996. One possible explanation is that as crime rates in the target area decreased, less time and resources were devoted to police efforts there. Findings are also presented from a survey of community residents and interviews with Seeding program participants. Future directions and degree of institutionalization are also discussed. 11 exhibits

Date Published: June 1, 1999