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Reducing Disorder, Fear, and Crime in Public Housing: A Case Study of Place-Specific Crime Prevention

NCJ Number
Justice Research and Policy Volume: 1 Issue: 2 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 61-87
Date Published
27 pages

This case study was designed to shed light on the nature and effectiveness of crime prevention efforts centered in a public housing facility in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in Spokane, Washington.


Unlike most prior research on crime in public housing that has focused on large facilities, the current study involved a small facility where crime problems were centered on streets surrounding the facility as opposed to crime within the facility itself. The study included process and outcome evaluations of Project ROAR, a public housing drug and crime prevention program sponsored by the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane Housing Authority. The project process evaluation focused on providing a thorough description of activities undertaken to address fear, disorder, and crime. The project outcome evaluation considered fear, quality of neighborhood life, perceived levels of disorder and crime, and official crime measures. Findings indicated collaborative efforts to reduce fear, crime, and disorder in and around the public housing facility hold promise for improving the quality of life for residents living in smaller public housing sites. These findings are particularly relevant when considering that most public housing facilities are relatively small and in light of the move away from the construction of large, high-rise public housing facilities for the poor. 65 references, 8 footnotes, and 4 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1999