A Community-Based, Focus-Deterrence Approach To Closing Overt Drug Markets: A Process & Fidelity


Saunders et al. (2016)


The Bureau of Justice Assistance funded Michigan State University (MSU) to train a cohort of seven jurisdictions in 2010 to implement a community-based strategy that uses focused deterrence, community engagement, and incapacitation to reduce the crime and disorder associated with overt drug markets. This process evaluation details how well the seven sites adhered to the model they were exposed to during the trainings, the barriers they encountered, and lessons learned from their experiences. It should be of interest to decision makers considering new approaches to addressing overt drug markets and those assessing whether this intervention affected crime and other outcomes in these jurisdictions.

TREATMENT Seven sites in Michigan were selected to receive the treatment intervention, consisting of 5 phases: 1) Planning for the Intervention: 2) Targeting the Drug Market 3) Working with the Community 4) Preparing for the Call-In 5) After the Call-In CONTROL Three of the seven sites did not complete the intervention for several reasons, and were used as comparison groups MAIN RESULTS

5 main lessons learned: 1) Without a strong commitment from key leadership within the police department and the prosecutor’s office in the jurisdiction, it will be very hard—if not impossible—to successfully implement the intervention. 2) Participants should have a good understanding of the intervention before beginning the process. 3) Team turnover should be expected and addressed in advance. 4) Political situations can influence implementation and support for the intervention.

5) If sites plan to track dealers, an action plan should be developed before the call-in.

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