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National Evaluation of Weed and Seed: Shreveport Case Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
63 pages
Publication Series

This case study documents the activities implemented under the Weed and Seed program in Shreveport, La., 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 after the first year of the program -- February 1995 through January 1996 -- Part 1 crimes dropped by an average of 9.5 percent in the target area and an average of 9 percent in the rest of the city. In the second year of the program, the target area experienced a further decline of 1.7 percent from the previous year, while the rest of the city experienced a 6.4-percent increase in crime. Although community survey findings do not show much change in perceptions of safety by residents of the target area, there were improvements in perceptions of other aspects of neighborhood life, including better police control of street drug sales and the use of illegal drugs; a strong increase in satisfaction with neighborhood programs; and an increase in participation in community programs. Interviews with "seeding" program participants showed a general satisfaction with the impact of the particular programs in which they participated. Future directions and degree of institutionalization are discussed. 14 exhibits

Date Published: August 1, 1999