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Preliminary Evaluation of SACSI in Winston-Salem: Summary of Findings

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2001
14 pages
This report presents an initial evaluation of Winston-Salem’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI), funded by the Department of Justice in 1998.
Winston-Salem began the SACSI in order to enable the community to have a significant impact on the local youth violence problem. This report explains that youth violence in Winston-Salem is confined to a relatively small proportion of the community’s young persons. According to the authors, in 1998, while 4 percent of Forsyth County’s youths had been arrested, only 243, or .2 percent, were charged with violent offenses and only .05 percent were considered “serious violent offenders.” The SACSI research process found that youth violence in Winston-Salem was not only concentrated among specific individuals, but also in certain neighborhoods. The SACSI project also found that in Winston-Salem juveniles were often introduced to a life of violence by an older offender, many juveniles arrested for violent crimes had prior history of lesser offenses, many violent offenders had psychological and/or emotional disabilities, and juvenile violence occurred in a limited number of crime “hot spots.” In evaluating SACSI’s impact on the community in the years since its inception, the authors found that violence is now somewhat lower in the targeted neighborhoods and that SACSI programs are continuing to be strengthened. The authors indicate that while much work is left to be done, SACSI programs should be sustained in Winston-Salem.

Date Published: September 1, 2001