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Achieving Honesty, Efficient Management and Full Accountability Throughout City Government Susan Cohen, City Auditor


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City of Seattle Crime Prevention Programs
Summary of Research Evidence

Program

2011 FTE

2011
Contract $

Resemble or Replicate Programs with Strong Positive Evidence

Mentoring (SYVPI)

 

130,000

Methadone Voucher Program

 

526,073

Multisystemic Treatment Program

 

86,100

Nurse Family Partnership

 

539,816

Code Compliance Team (Seattle Nightlife Initiative)

1.25

 

Total:

1.25

1,281,989

Resemble or Replicate Programs with Moderate Positive Evidence

Aggression Replacement Training (SYVPI)

 

60,000

Gang Resistance Education and Training (SYVPI)

   

Drug Market Initiative

0.1

26,000

Teen Late Night Program

12.14

 

Summer High Point Commons Program

0.61

 

Business Improvement Area Support

0.3

35,000

Pedestrian Lighting

1

 

Case Management (SYVPI)

1.75

700,000

South Park Initiative

 

232,763

Chemical Dependence Intervention

0.18

119,020

Power of Place (SYVPI)

3

 

Neighborhood Network Coordination/Intake and Referral

1

513,910

Total:

20.08

1,686,693

Inconclusive: Resemble or Replicate Programs with Weak but Positive Supporting Research Evidence

Abandoned Buildings Enforcement

1.8

 

Graffiti Abatement - Transportation

2

 

Graffiti Abatement - Parks

2

2,500

Graffiti Abatement - SPU

6

 

Graffiti Hotline - SPU

0.9

 

Graffiti Code Enforcement - SPU

1

 

Graffiti BIA Program - SPU

 

57,000

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

1

 

Police Explorers

portion of 2 FTEs

 

Total:

14.7

59,500

Inconclusive: No Evidence but Grounded in Theory

Chemical Dependency Intervention - Youth Engagement

 

177,863

Fire Stoppers

1

 

Neighborhood Matching Fund (SYVPI)

 

77,325

Community Matching Grants (SYVPI)

 

130,925

Youth Police Academy

portion of 2 FTEs

 

SPD Youth Dialogues

portion of 2 FTEs

 

SPD IF Project

portion of 2 FTEs

 

Vegetation Overgrowth Enforcement

1.0

 

Junk Storage Enforcement

2

 

Illegal Dumping Hotline

0.3

 

Illegal Dumping Inspection and Clean-up

3

284,250

Graffiti Outreach and Education (SPU)

1

 

Total:

8.3

670,363

Inconclusive: Resemble Programs That Have Evidence of Mixed Results on Reducing Crime

Indigent Batterers' Treatment

0.5

148,650

Battered Women's Shelters

0.1

785,994

Student Teen Employment Program

1.7

11,000

Lifeguard Training

0.33

 

Youth Employment Services (SYVPI)

 

549,520

South Park Recreation Teams, Boxing, and ESL

 

90,718

SPD Summer Youth Employment

portion of 2 FTEs

 

Neighborhood District Coordinators

11

 

Seattle Neighborhood Group Safe Communities

 

381,330

Only in Seattle

1

800,000

Street Outreach (SYVPI)

 

301,721

SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators

 

7

SPD Community Police Team Officers

21

 

Park Rangers

6

 

Total:

48.63

3,068,933

Resemble Programs That Have Evidence for Increasing Crime

School Emphasis Truancy and Suspension Reduction (SYVPI)

portion of 6 FTEs

 

School Emphasis Officers (SYVPI)

portion of 6 FTEs

 

Proactive Gang Prevention Unit

7

 

Total:

up to 13 FTE

 

Unable to Match to Research or Theory for Crime Prevention

Prostituted Youth Residential Recovery

0.5

482,113

Prostituted Youth Advocacy

 

66,177

Co-STARS

 

400,000

CURB

0.5

247,200

GOTS

 

317,200

Housing First

0.25

2,332,644

Emergency Services Patrol for Inebriated Patients

 

542,116

Needle Exchange

 

406,112

Total:

1.25

4,793,562

See additional references in this interactive bibliography.


Mentoring (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $130,000

Mechanisms: Young people are paired with adults or peers who provide support and guidance to promote prosocial rather than antisocial attitudes and behavior.

Theoretical Basis: Differential association and differential reinforcement theory: young people learn criminal orientations through interaction with others; criminal behavior is more likely when a young person is exposed to social messages unfavorable to law rather than prosocial messages. Since all behavior is learned, new prosocial cognitions can also be learned.

Evidence Base: Campbell Systematic Review by Tolan et al. (2008) shows moderate but positive effects on delinquency based on 39 randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments. The authors state that "mentoring may be valuable for those at-risk or already involved in delinquency and for associated outcomes." However, the authors state that few of the studies they reviewed clearly stated the content of the mentoring program, so we do not know exactly which strategies make mentoring effective. Similar Big Brothers, Big Sisters programs have also been shown to have moderate positive effects on delinquency (Greenberg, Domitrovich, & Bumbarger, 2000).

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Methadone Voucher Program

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $526,073

Mechanisms: Methadone treatment is used to reduce heroin dependency.

Theoretical Basis: Treatment and rehabilitation, and differential association theory (encouraging prosocial rather than antisocial behavior).

Evidence Base: Crimesolutions.gov includes three randomized clinical trials showing positive evidence for the effectiveness of maintenance programs. A Campbell Systematic Review by Egli et al. (2009) shows that in rigorous studies heroin maintenance reduces crime significantly more than methadone maintenance, but methadone maintenance reduces crime slightly more than treatment programs that do not include substitution therapy (though this finding is not significant). However, when comparing post- with pre-treatment levels of crime, methadone maintenance produces very large and significant reductions in crime during the methadone maintenance.

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Multisystemic Treatment Program

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $86,100

Mechanisms: The family-unit is analyzed and treated in order to change environmental factors for the youth.

Theoretical Basis: Social control theory suggests that improving prosocial bonding within the family and other social institutions is protective against crime. Learning theory and differential association suggest that delinquent behavior is learned from interactions with others, so family attitudes to offending may lead to delinquency. Environmental risk factors for crime within the home, such as parental conflict, are addressed.

Evidence Base: Rigorous evidence generally shows positive effects for MST. Henggeler and Melton (1992) report that "...youths who received MST had fewer arrests and self-reported offenses and spent an average of 10 fewer weeks incarcerated," as well as reporting increased family cohesion and decreased youth aggression in peer relations. Although a Campbell Systematic Review (Littell et al., 2005) finds no significant effects across a wider range of rigorous studies, other reviews such as the Maryland Report and Crimesolutions.gov state that family therapy and parent training about delinquent and at-risk preadolescents reduces risk factors for delinquency (see also Tremblay & Craig, 1995).

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Nurse Family Partnerships - Best Beginnings

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $539,816

Mechanisms: Nurse-family partnerships seek to alter environmental factors during pregnancy and early childhood years to affect later life outcomes for both children and their families.

Theoretical Basis: Social control theory suggests that improving prosocial bonding within the family and other social institutions is protective against crime. Learning theory and differential association suggest that delinquent behavior is learned from interactions with others, so family attitudes to offending may lead to delinquency. Environmental risk factors for crime, such as parental conflict, may affect a child's early development, and psychological risk factors for crime may be exacerbated by problems during pregnancy and early childhood.

Evidence Base: There is a strong and rigorous evidence-base for the effectiveness of Nurse Family Partnerships, which were developed by David Olds. The evidence is summarized at Crimesolutions.gov and in two Campbell Systematic Reviews (Piquero et al., 2008; Scher et al., 2006). The reviews conclude that "early family/parent training should continue to be used to prevent child behavior problems such as conduct problems, antisocial behavior, and delinquency among young persons in the first five years of life." However, early family programs do not show consistent evidence of effectiveness for other outcomes, such as altering sexual activity or pregnancy risk among youth.

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Code Compliance Team, Seattle Nightlife Initiative

City FTE: 1.25

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Community and other stakeholder engagement program intended to reduce antisocial behavior, noise, public disturbances, and other nuisance behavior.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Nuisance behavior may attract similar behavior and reduce legitimate use of a space by capable guardians (routine activities theory). Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) highlight a number of high quality evaluations, including randomized trials, which find positive effects for nuisance abatement programs. The research indicates declines in various crime types and misdemeanors relative to comparison sites, with no backfire effects. Studies of nuisance abatement programs include Eck and Wartell (1999); Green (1993; 1995; 1996); Mazerolle et al. (1998).

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Aggression Replacement Training (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $60,000

Mechanisms: Training in anger management, social skills and moral reasoning to reduce risk of delinquent behavior.

Theoretical Basis: Differential association and differential reinforcement theory: young people learn criminal orientations through interaction with others; criminal behavior is more likely when a young person is exposed to social messages unfavorable to law rather than prosocial messages. Since all behavior is learned, new prosocial cognitions can also be learned.

Evidence Base: Forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review will examine the effectiveness of ART programs based on rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental evidence. Lipsey et al. (2007) include two studies of ART in their systematic review of rigorously-evaluated cognitive behavioral programs and found very strong effects on recidivism. Several other studies have indicated that ART is a promising, evidence-based treatment for juvenile offenders, including the first Maryland Report update (Sherman et al., 2002) and Loeber et al. (1998). The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide describes ART as an effective program.

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Gang Resistance Education and Training (SYVPI)

City FTE: 2.00 (portion of 6 full-time police officers dedicated to the school-based programs).

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This is a school-based cognitive education program given by police officers to prevent delinquency and gang involvement, and provide life skills and family assistance, behavioral and attitudinal change.

Theoretical Basis: Differential association and differential reinforcement theory: young people learn criminal orientations through interaction with others; criminal behavior is more likely when a young person is exposed to social messages unfavorable to law rather than prosocial messages. Since all behavior is learned, new prosocial cognitions can also be learned. Education could also create a general (for all youth) or specific (for youth already involved in or at risk of gang activity) deterrent effect.

Evidence Base: This is a national program with a specific curriculum and criteria. There are high quality studies of the program, which are summarized in the OJJDP Model Programs Guide. The initial evaluation in the 1990s used a quasi-experimental design with a long-term follow up. No reduction in gang involvement was found, but four years after participating in the program G.R.E.A.T. students reported less victimization and risk seeking behavior, more association with prosocial peers, favorable attitudes toward law enforcement and unfavorable attitudes to gangs compared to controls. The curriculum was revised and is currently being evaluated using a randomized controlled design. Preliminary findings at the one-year follow-up show significant differences between G.R.E.A.T. participants and controls in terms of positive attitudes toward police, unfavorable attitudes to gangs, improved resistance to peer pressure, and less gang membership and delinquency. These results are promising and continued research will indicate if they are sustained over time.

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Drug Market Initiative

City FTE: 0.10

Contracts: $26,000

Mechanisms: DMI programs focus on attacking drug areas intensively with a wide variety of interventions.

Theoretical Basis: Some DMI programs focus on deterrence and the threat of sanction to drug dealers. Others offer treatment and services, but the threat of sanction is a key part of these strategies, building on "pulling levers" approaches.

Evidence Base: Pulling levers approaches show some promise for violent offenders. For DMI programs specifically, work by Corsaro and McGarrell (2009) and a forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review (see also Braga & Weisburd, 2011) indicate that programs can lead to a significant reduction in crime. However, studies generally do not include equivalent comparison groups. However, the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix indicates that more proactive, multi-agency problem solving approaches do show more promise than individual-based approaches. Some DMI strategies can be very individualistic, and case-management oriented.

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Teen Late Night Program

City FTE: 12.14 plus 1,800 hours Police and Parks overtime

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program keeps youth off the streets at night by providing a safe place to hang out and prosocial activities to engage in.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) describe recreation programs to keep young people off the streets after school as "promising." After-school recreation programs that improve skills in sports, music, dance, and scouting can reduce delinquency, arrests, and drug use. The research evidence is of moderate quality. Some studies have control groups, but others have weak designs and problems of poor implementation and attrition. The OJJDP Model Programs Guide is more cautious, noting that the most effective programs focus on social skills, more structure and scheduling, strong links to school curricula, engaging qualified and well trained staff, and providing opportunities for one-on-one training. In addition, there is some evidence that the highest risk time for juvenile offending is during the school day or directly after school (peaking at 3-4pm) rather than at night, so effective supervision-based programs may be best directed at these times. Gottfredson, Gottfredson, and Weisman (2001) found that youth who are unsupervised in the direct after-school period tend to be more delinquent at all times. Crime prevention effects of recreational programs have also been shown to wear off fairly quickly if not sustained, and from a place based perspective may be limited to the immediate area around the recreation site (Sherman et al., 2006).

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Summer High Point Commons Program

City FTE: 0.61

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program provides prosocial activities to keep young people off streets during summer vacation

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets.

Evidence Base: Research on summer programs is contained in the general after-school recreational program literature described under the Teen late night program above. The High Point Commons program is described as "sometimes educational," and the evidence suggests that this aspect could be promoted. Sherman et al. (2006) note that simply keeping youth out of trouble does not seem to be enough to promote crime control benefits. Programs based on supervised socializing also need to tailor skills training approaches through recreational activities.

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Business Improvement Area Support Program

City FTE: 0.3

Contracts: $35,000

Mechanisms: Reduction of "broken windows" or signals that criminal activity is acceptable through litter and graffiti clean-up; increased guardianship from hired private security and off-duty police officers.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities theory focuses on increased guardianship to break the convergence between offenders and victims or targets. Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: Moderately rigorous quasi-experiments show promising results for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). Hoyt (2005) found that BIAs in Philadelphia were associated with lower property crime and theft rates than non-BIA commercial areas, with no evidence of displacement. Brooks (2008) found that BIAs in Los Angeles compared to areas that considered a BIA but did not adopt one had total crime reductions of 6 to 10%, especially for serious crime. MacDonald et al. (2010) found that BIAs in Los Angeles had, on average, a 12% decrease in robbery and an 8% decrease in violent crime, although there was some variation across the 30 areas studied. Furthermore, Cook and MacDonald (2011) find that the social benefits of BIAs far exceed the costs, and displacement of crime outside the BIA is minimal. It is important to note, however, that BIAs vary widely in their activities, with some focusing more on commercial development than crime prevention, so it is not always possible to generalize from the research.

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Pedestrian Lighting

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Street lighting is designed to increase visibility in areas where crime is likely to occur.

Theoretical Basis: Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety. Routine activities theory suggests that increased guardianship (which is provided by other people in an area or the lighting itself) can break the nexus between a motivated offender and suitable target.

Evidence Base: A Campbell Systematic Review by Welsh and Farrington (2008) describes moderately rigorous quasi-experiments, usually involving a non-equivalent control group (see also Painter and Farrington, 1997, 1999a, 1999b, 2001). The majority of the studies have been carried out in the United Kingdom in residential areas. The studies show crime reductions in the treatment areas, and a diffusion of crime control benefits to neighboring areas.

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Case Management (SYVPI)

City FTE: 1.75

Contracts: $700,000

Mechanisms: Treatment for at-risk youth including counseling, skill building, and behavioral programs to reduce delinquency risk and promote antisocial behavior.

Theoretical Basis: Differential association and differential reinforcement theory: young people learn criminal orientations through interaction with others; criminal behavior is more likely when a young person is exposed to social messages unfavorable to law rather than prosocial messages.

Evidence Base: In general, programs emphasizing individual counseling, interpersonal skills, behavioral programs, and family support show consistently positive effects for both institutionalized and non-institutionalized youth. The evidence-base for effective juvenile programs is very strong, based on at least 200 experimental and quasi-experimental studies (e.g. Lipsey, Wilson, & Cothern, 2000).

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South Park Initiative (Case Management and Basic Life/Social Skills)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $232,763

Mechanisms: Providing case management, social skills training, technology training, physical activity and literacy development to promote prosocial attitudes, and rehabilitation.

Theoretical Basis: Strain theory indicates that providing legitimate educational and employment opportunities may reduce delinquency.

Evidence Base: Rigorous evidence exists on one element of the South Park Initiative: social skills training. Piquero et al. (2010) conducted a Campbell Systematic Review of high-quality experimental evidence on programs to increase self-control through learning social skills. These programs were effective in improving self-control and reducing delinquency and other problem behaviors. Lipsey and Wilson's (1993) meta-analysis of juvenile programming indicates that psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment have positive effects on crime outcomes.

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Chemical Dependence Intervention

City FTE: 0.18

Contracts: $119,020

Mechanisms: Case management with emphasis on recommending treatment and housing options will decrease chemical dependency

Theoretical Basis: Differential association theory suggests that criminal behavior, like all behavior is learned. Prosocial behavior can also be learned. Housing and treatment may help addicted persons to rebuild their lives away from antisocial influences.

Evidence Base: A Campbell Systematic Review examines similar evidence on drug treatment for incarcerated individuals (Mitchell, Wilson, & MacKenzie, 2006). The review includes 66 highly rigorous randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments. The review finds that group counseling programs directed at substance abuse reduces reoffending but not drug use, while therapeutic community approaches show strong, consistent effects on reducing recidivism and drug dependency. Those programs that intensively address the multiple problems of substance abusers show the most promising effects. Lipsey (1992) also suggests that the community is the most effective setting for treatment programs.

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Power of Place (SYVPI)

City FTE: 3.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program aims to keep young people off the streets while fostering civic engagement, and a focus on youth mentoring youth.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets.

Evidence Base: OJJDP Model Programs Guide describes similar leadership and youth development programs as effective, with a small but growing base of high quality evidence. Programs that promote competencies and social, emotional, or cognitive development are highly effective in reducing delinquency and risky behavior. "A program can be considered a youth development program when it intentionally incorporates experiences and learnings to address and advance the positive development of children and youth." Examples pertinent to Power of Place include service learning and working with community organizations and socializing systems like museums and libraries. These programs build self esteem, personal and social development, and moral reasoning skills. Constructive use of time is key to achieving these outcomes.

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Neighborhood Network Coordination/Intake & Referral (SYVPI)

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: $513,910

Mechanisms: The SYVPI in general provides coordinated services and prosocial activities to deter youth from engaging in violence. The intake and referral process specifically focuses on linking youth with appropriate services

Theoretical Basis: Focusing on criminogenic needs; RNR (risk-need-responsivity) model; increasing social control through engagement with prosocial activities and community institutions; routine activities and supervised, structured activity.

Evidence Base: It is difficult to assess whether this particular component of the program has a direct crime prevention effect, because it is simply the gateway to further crime prevention services and activities. However, a strong body of evidence based on many rigorous studies shows that effective treatment and service provision should be based on the risk-needs-responsivity (RNR) model, which suggests that resources should be focused on high risk clients, criminogenic needs, and programming should be responsive to the individual's specific learning style and abilities while drawing more generally on cognitive-behavioral approaches (Andrews et al., 1990; Andrews & Bonta, 2010). Intake and referral processes should involve validated risk assessment tools to accurately identify risk and criminogenic need that can be addressed through tailored services. A meta-analysis by Olver et al. (2009) highlights three risk assessment tools for juveniles that successfully predicted general and violent recidivism.

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Abandoned Buildings Enforcement

City FTE: 1.8

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Securing vacant buildings deters unauthorized entry by persons engaging in criminal or drug activity.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities and opportunity theory: reducing suitable targets, increasing guardianship by removing opportunity to offend away from public view.

Evidence Base: Weaker descriptive research indicates that illegal uses were found in 83% of unsecured vacant buildings, compared to only 34% of secured vacant buildings. Blocks with unsecured buildings have 3 times as many calls for service to law enforcement for drugs, almost 2 times as many calls for service for theft, and 2 times as many calls for service for violence. Securing vacant buildings, as one part of a much larger program, reduced crime in one neighborhood in Baltimore (Spelman, 1993; Kelling & Coles, 1996). Vacant buildings can also have a negative financial impact on the surrounding homes (Immergluck and Smith, 2006) and local authorities: foreclosed vacant properties left secured cost localities about $430, while those left unsecured can cost localities between $5,000 and $35,000 (Apgar et al. 2005). The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) also suggests that restricting pedestrian access in general may be beneficial to crime control, although the evidence-base is of low quality.

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Graffiti Abatement - Department of Transportation

City FTE: 2.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Rapid removal of graffiti (within 6 days) is intended to reduce the appearance of disorder and reduce rewards for offenders.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Routine activities and rational choice theories focus on rewards and motivations for offenders. Offenders may perceive lower reward from engaging in graffiti compared to the risk of sanction if the graffiti is swiftly removed.

Evidence Base: See evidence for other graffiti abatement programs, above. Evidence is more direct in this case because prior research has been conducted primarily on transit systems. However, Seattle's program appears to focus mainly on graffiti removal from street signs and parking areas, which is less analogous to mass transit.

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Graffiti Abatement - Department of Parks and Recreation

City FTE: 2.00

Contracts: $2,500

Mechanisms: Rapid removal of graffiti (within 6 days) is intended to reduce the appearance of disorder and reduce rewards for offenders.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Routine activities and rational choice theories focus on rewards and motivations for offenders. Offenders may perceive lower reward from engaging in graffiti compared to the risk of sanction if the graffiti is swiftly removed. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: The evidence on rapid removal is of low to moderate quality, and has primarily been focused more specifically on transit systems (Maryland Report; Sherman et al., 2006). A further problem with research in this area is that rapid removal (which is defined as within 2 hours up to one day) is often one of many interventions deployed at a location, and studies cannot show which individual strategies were most effective. However, the Maryland Report indicates that rapid removal of graffiti on subway cars resulted in decreased graffiti incidents, and when combined with other interventions, decreases in other types of crime have been reported. Numerous studies find a correlation between physical disorder (defined generally as graffiti, litter, abandoned buildings) and fear of crime. See also Skogan (1990); Kelling & Coles (1996); Taylor (1985); Perkins et al (1992); Sloan-Howitt & Kelling (1990); Carr & Spring (1993); Felson et al. (1996).

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Graffiti Abatement SPU - Graffiti Rangers

City FTE: 6.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Rapid removal of graffiti (within 6 days) is intended to reduce the appearance of disorder and reduce rewards for offenders.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Routine activities and rational choice theories focus on rewards and motivations for offenders. Offenders may perceive lower reward from engaging in graffiti compared to the risk of sanction if the graffiti is swiftly removed and visibility of rangers contributes to increased guardianship. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: See evidence above for other graffiti removal programs. Again, implementation is crucial to success. The rapid response must be truly rapid to send a message that repeat offending is not worthwhile.

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Graffiti Hotline SPU

City FTE: 0.9

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Rapid removal of graffiti facilitated by increased guardianship and community involvement.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: See evidence above for other graffiti removal programs. Implementation is crucial to the success of this program. Crime prevention and collective efficacy will only be sustained if citizen complaints are promptly dealt with and the response is visible.

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Graffiti Code Enforcement SPU

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Enforcing graffiti removal in privately owned locations (within 10 days) to reduce the reward to offenders and reduce the appearance of disorder.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety. The focus on privately owned locations brings in community involvement, which is underpinned by social cohesion and collective efficacy.

Evidence Base: See evidence above for other graffiti removal programs and importance of implementation.

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Graffiti Business Improvement Area (BIA) Grant Program SPU

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $57,000

Mechanisms: Offers grants to BIAs to supplement existing contracts for graffiti and litter removal.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: See evidence above for other graffiti removal programs. This is a grant program rather than active prevention; however, if the services funded in line with the evidence base on rapid removal of graffiti and other signs of disorder, the program is likely to be effective (although existing evidence is of low quality).

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Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Changes to the structure and characteristics of the built environment aim to reduce opportunities for crime and conflict and increase perceptions of safety. Specific CPTED techniques are not described in the report on Seattle's program.

Theoretical Basis: Environmental and ecological theories of crime and situational crime prevention are concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety. Routine activities theory relates to how offenders, targets and guardians interact within physical spaces.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) describe a wide range of interventions can be classed as CPTED, including store redesign, property marking, closing walkways and improving the security of doors and windows. The quality of evidence is generally low, with non-equivalent control groups or pre/post designs without a control group; however, many studies result in crime declines in target areas. No evaluation has looked at the direct relationship between CPTED training for police officers and subsequent crime reduction. Study references include Farrington et al. (1993); Poyner (1994); Tilley & Webb (1994).

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Police Explorers (SPD Youth Outreach)

City FTE: 0.40 (portion of 2 full-time police officers dedicated to the Youth Outreach program (#32-36).

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program provides work shadowing and training to foster interest in a law enforcement career.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets. Theories of legitimacy suggest that people are more likely to obey the law if they trust the police and feel the police treat them with respect and fairness.

Evidence Base: This program primarily focuses on job shadowing for a specific career with the police, but it also embodies elements of leadership and youth development. The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) suggests that short-term job shadowing programs are generally less effective than structured, intensive job programs, perhaps because they lack the intensity needed to overcome serious educational disadvantages. However this program could be more promising, because it is targeted toward a specific career and embodies the principles of leadership and development (see Power of Place) as well as fostering police legitimacy (see SPD Summer Youth Employment).

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Chemical Dependency - Youth Engagement

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $177,863

Mechanisms: The program provides referrals, chemical dependency treatment, mentoring, and other services intended to address crime risk factors.

Theoretical Basis: The variety of services are rooted in social control theory, which suggests that improved prosocial bonding with social institutions is protective against crime; strain theories, which suggest that a lack of conventional, legitimate opportunities leads to delinquency, early psychological and environmental intervention, and routine activities.

Evidence Base: A Campbell Systematic Review (Morton & Montgomery, 2011) on the effectiveness of youth empowerment programs for improving self-efficacy and self-esteem examines two well-designed but small studies, but concludes that the rigorous research base is currently insufficient to draw conclusions. Crime outcomes were not measured. However, the program may have similarities to other promising practices such as mentoring, case management and skills training.

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Firestoppers Youth Firesetting Intervention Program

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: The program identifies firestarters and provides intervention using case management and public education.

Theoretical Basis: Education against firestarting could have a general (for all youth) or specific (for youth already involved in firestarting) deterrent effect. Case management and treatment aims to improve environmental risk factors, foster positive social control, and encourage learning of prosocial rather than antisocial behavior.

Evidence Base: There is no evidence on specific programs to prevent firestarting; however, general research based on rigorous evidence indicates that cognitive-behavioral therapy (Lipsey et al., 2007), multi-systemic therapy, and mentoring (especially by professionals) are useful in changing behavior. It appears that this program targets youth who are already involved in firestarting; public education of all youth may be less effective, given similar education programs like DARE, which evidence indicates are not effective.

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Neighborhood Matching Fund Sustainment Program (SYVPI); Community Matching Grants (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $77,325 (Neighborhood Matching Fund); $130,925 (Community Matching Grants); total $208,250

Mechanisms: These programs are not directly related to crime prevention, but they provide funding to prevention programs.

Theoretical Basis: The theoretical basis for effectiveness depends on which programs are funded. There is no crime prevention theory related to the grants themselves.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) state that there are no specific evaluations of "supply side" or grant programs. The programs may be analogous to the Community Development Block Grants program, which aimed to revitalize distressed areas through direct funding to local governments to target specific problems and risk factors. Anecdotally, these grants tended to perform better than non-geographically targeted funding programs, such as small business development grants. It seems a mix of incomes and a healthy commercial district in the grant area may drive success. Sherman et al. (2006) note that "Implementing intensive programs in highly disadvantaged areas can be a very difficult process..." In general, programs that provide prosocial, supervised activities, specific targeting of risk factors and risk levels, and strong implementation and sustainability may be good candidates for funding.

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Neighborhood Matching Fund Sustainment Program (SYVPI); Community Matching Grants (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $77,325 (Neighborhood Matching Fund); $130,925 (Community Matching Grants); total $208,250

Mechanisms: These programs are not directly related to crime prevention, but they provide funding to prevention programs.

Theoretical Basis: The theoretical basis for effectiveness depends on which programs are funded. There is no crime prevention theory related to the grants themselves.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) state that there are no specific evaluations of "supply side" or grant programs. The programs may be analogous to the Community Development Block Grants program, which aimed to revitalize distressed areas through direct funding to local governments to target specific problems and risk factors. Anecdotally, these grants tended to perform better than non-geographically targeted funding programs, such as small business development grants. It seems a mix of incomes and a healthy commercial district in the grant area may drive success. Sherman et al. (2006) note that "Implementing intensive programs in highly disadvantaged areas can be a very difficult process..." In general, programs that provide prosocial, supervised activities, specific targeting of risk factors and risk levels, and strong implementation and sustainability may be good candidates for funding.

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Youth Police Academy; Donut Dialogues/Role Reversals (SPD Youth Outreach)

City FTE: portion of 2 full-time police officers dedicated to the Youth Outreach program

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: These programs offer education about the operations of the police department, and opportunities for young people to provide the police with feedback. Donut Dialogues brings together homeless youth with communities, business leaders, and the police to challenge preconceived notions of each other and promote civic engagement

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets. Theories of legitimacy suggest that people are more likely to obey the law if they trust the police and feel the police treat them with respect and fairness.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al. (2006) report a lack of evidence on community engagement and empowerment programs; however, there is a consensus that they are useful. The lack of evidence is likely due to the wide variation between programs fitting this broad description, and none of the programs described in the report are similar to these programs. Enhancement of police legitimacy is a possible outcome of these programs, which suggests that they could have a positive, if indirect effect on crime prevention (see Summer Youth Employment, above). However, the actual implementation of the program must reflect a two-way dialogue in practice. If the programs (especially the academy) become more focused on the police educating youth and less on enhancing feedback and engagement, they could become more akin to unsuccessful education and deterrence programs like DARE.

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Youth Police Academy; Donut Dialogues/Role Reversals (SPD Youth Outreach)

City FTE: portion of 2 full-time police officers dedicated to the Youth Outreach program

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: These programs offer education about the operations of the police department, and opportunities for young people to provide the police with feedback. Donut Dialogues brings together homeless youth with communities, business leaders, and the police to challenge preconceived notions of each other and promote civic engagement

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets. Theories of legitimacy suggest that people are more likely to obey the law if they trust the police and feel the police treat them with respect and fairness.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al. (2006) report a lack of evidence on community engagement and empowerment programs; however, there is a consensus that they are useful. The lack of evidence is likely due to the wide variation between programs fitting this broad description, and none of the programs described in the report are similar to these programs. Enhancement of police legitimacy is a possible outcome of these programs, which suggests that they could have a positive, if indirect effect on crime prevention (see Summer Youth Employment, above). However, the actual implementation of the program must reflect a two-way dialogue in practice. If the programs (especially the academy) become more focused on the police educating youth and less on enhancing feedback and engagement, they could become more akin to unsuccessful education and deterrence programs like DARE.

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If Project (SPD Youth Outreach)

City FTE: portion of 2 full-time police officers dedicated to the Youth Outreach program

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program provides community engagement for at-risk youth and programs that connect them with current and former inmates to learn about the risks of offending.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Learning about the consequences of offending from inmates may have a deterrent effect on delinquency and later offending.

Evidence Base: The specific content of this program that is emphasized most is key to its effectiveness. A Campbell Systematic Review of "Scared Straight," and other juvenile awareness programs, based on high quality studies (Petrosino, Turpin-Petrosino, and Buehler, 2004), indicates that talking to inmates who aim to deter young people from offending can actually increase offending. However, this program also includes mentoring and referral to services (see Case Management and Mentoring programs above), which have strong evidence supporting their effectiveness for youth who are already at risk or involved in delinquency.

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Vegetation Overgrowth Enforcement

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Enforcing local codes to address overgrowth around property, to reduce appearance of disorder.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: There is no specific research on the use of vegetation overgrowth enforcement to prevent crime, although the concept is promising from a theoretical perspective. Implementation is the key to the success of this program. Sending letters to residents asking them to address the overgrowth is unlikely to be effective without follow-up and consequences for non-compliance. However, the Maryland Report and its update (Sherman et al., 2006) note that evidence for the effectiveness of police-led crackdowns on disorder shows no consistent effects and based only on moderately rigorous research designs.

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Junk Storage Enforcement; Illegal Dumping – Hotline; Illegal Dumping - SPU

City FTE: 2.00 (Junk storage); 0.3 (Hotline); 3.00 (Illegal dumping); total 5.3

Contracts: $284,250 (Illegal dumping)

Mechanisms: Reducing the appearance of disorder and engaging the community by providing systems to report problems.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: There is no specific evidence on these mechanisms, although the wider literature on broken windows theory and reducing disorder suggests they could be promising. Again, implementation is important. Collective efficacy may not be sustained if citizen reports are not followed up and acted upon quickly. As discussed above, the Maryland Report notes that evidence for the effectiveness of police-led crackdowns on disorder shows no consistent effects and based only on moderately rigorous research designs.

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Junk Storage Enforcement; Illegal Dumping – Hotline; Illegal Dumping - SPU

City FTE: 2.00 (Junk storage); 0.3 (Hotline); 3.00 (Illegal dumping); total 5.3

Contracts: $284,250 (Illegal dumping)

Mechanisms: Reducing the appearance of disorder and engaging the community by providing systems to report problems.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: There is no specific evidence on these mechanisms, although the wider literature on broken windows theory and reducing disorder suggests they could be promising. Again, implementation is important. Collective efficacy may not be sustained if citizen reports are not followed up and acted upon quickly. As discussed above, the Maryland Report notes that evidence for the effectiveness of police-led crackdowns on disorder shows no consistent effects and based only on moderately rigorous research designs.

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Junk Storage Enforcement; Illegal Dumping – Hotline; Illegal Dumping - SPU

City FTE: 2.00 (Junk storage); 0.3 (Hotline); 3.00 (Illegal dumping); total 5.3

Contracts: $284,250 (Illegal dumping)

Mechanisms: Reducing the appearance of disorder and engaging the community by providing systems to report problems.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: There is no specific evidence on these mechanisms, although the wider literature on broken windows theory and reducing disorder suggests they could be promising. Again, implementation is important. Collective efficacy may not be sustained if citizen reports are not followed up and acted upon quickly. As discussed above, the Maryland Report notes that evidence for the effectiveness of police-led crackdowns on disorder shows no consistent effects and based only on moderately rigorous research designs.

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Graffiti Outreach/Education and Volunteer Coordination - SPU

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Rapid removal of graffiti and increased community involvement and awareness. Upon owner's request, volunteers remove graffiti from private and public property.

Theoretical Basis: Broken windows theory suggests that the appearance of disorder in a location, such as broken windows, vegetation overgrowth, litter and graffiti is an attractor of further and increased disorder and crime. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, may protect against increasing disorder likely to attract crime problems. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety.

Evidence Base: See evidence above for other graffiti removal programs. Effectiveness would depend on how well this program is implemented. Rapid response is crucial, so volunteers must be mobilized quickly to make repeat offending less desirable. Program must be strongly underpinned by social cohesion to sustain community interest in learning about the program and volunteering, as well as making property owners aware that they can call.

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Indigent Batterers' Treatment

City FTE: 0.05

Contracts: $148,650

Mechanisms: Batterer intervention programs aim to prevent crime by addressing perpetrators' attitudes toward women and violence and teaching alternative anger management strategies.

Theoretical Basis: Treatment of individual behavioral problems and deterrence through supervision and court mandated services as a condition of probation.

Evidence Base: A Campbell Systematic Review (Feder, Wilson, & Austin, 2008) identified 10 rigorous randomized controlled trials or quasi-experiments that indicated a slight positive effect on official reports of recidivism. However, the programs showed no effect on victim reports of further violence. This is consistent with other literature on domestic violence that seems to indicate different results between official reports and victim reports of recidivating. Victims may be less likely to report crimes if they feel uncomfortable or in danger by doing so. The review authors warn policy makers not to be swayed by less-rigorous studies, as they can suffer from selection bias.

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Battered Women's Shelters

City FTE: 0.1

Contracts: $785,994

Mechanisms: Provision of housing, shelter, and services for victims of domestic violence.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities – shelters provide capable guardianship as well as support to reduce immediate and longer-term risk of further victimization.

Evidence Base: There is no specific rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of shelters themselves. However, the key to the longer-term crime prevention effectiveness of shelters is the services and support provided to women to enable them to break the cycle of abuse. Crimesolutions.gov describes related evidence on services for women leaving shelters as "promising," meaning that some evidence is available that show effectiveness but more research is recommended. Two programs have been evaluated using randomized controlled designs, and additional work by Sullivan uses non-randomized comparison groups. There are some positive effects for outcomes like psychological wellbeing and support, but crime prevention results are mixed, showing no significant differences between treatment and control group participants for further abuse. The effects may vary (increase or decrease) over time.

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STEP - Student Teen Employment Preparation

City FTE: 1.7

Contracts: $11,000

Mechanisms: The program aims to provide legitimate opportunities and gainful employment, skill building

Theoretical Basis: Strain and economic theories suggest that a lack of opportunity to participate in legitimate social institutions, i.e. the work force, can increase the risk of delinquency. Attachment to conventional goals and social institutions improves social control.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and OJJDP Model Programs Guide state that there are few rigorous evaluations of summer or other short-term subsidized career development programs. Subsidized programs show promise in improving employment prospects during the subsidy period, but effects are weak in the long term. Although a few randomized controlled trials of employment programs in general exist, much of the research is weak and does not control for the level of need of participants – programs usually work best for highest need youth. Implementation is often an issue in employment research, and direct effects on crime prevention and long term job prospect outcomes are difficult to measure. In general, highly structured, even residential programs with intensive work experience and a multi-agency approach work best for job training (Sherman et al., 2006).

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Lifeguard Training Team Program

City FTE: 0.33

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program provides an opportunity to train as a lifeguard and receive a job skill.

Theoretical Basis: Strain and economic theories suggest that a lack of opportunity to participate in legitimate social institutions, i.e. the work force, can increase the risk of delinquency. Attachment to conventional goals and social institutions improves social control.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and OJJDP Model Programs Guide state that there are few rigorous evaluations of summer or other short-term subsidized career development programs. Much of the research is weak and not well-controlled. For summer programs, positive outcomes can be cut off once school restarts and there is little effect on the likelihood of employment after school. Since there is little evidence of long-term effectiveness with vocational programs, this program may have limited effectiveness because it provides a skill for a seasonal, temporary job, although there is no evidence on this specifically. However, providing life-saving skills, especially in a prosocial environment, may also meet the goals of leadership and youth development programs, which strong evidence shows have been shown to be effective in reducing delinquency according to the OJJDP Model Programs Guide.

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Youth Employment Services (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $549,520

Mechanisms: This program focuses on subsidized employment, internships, and job skills building.

Theoretical Basis: Strain and economic theories suggest that a lack of opportunity to participate in legitimate social institutions, i.e. the work force, can increase the risk of delinquency. Attachment to conventional goals and social institutions improves social control.

Evidence Base: The Maryland Report and OJJDP Model Programs Guide state that there are few rigorous evaluations of short-term subsidized career development programs. Subsidized programs show promise in improving employment prospects during the subsidy period, but effects are weak in the long term (see evidence base for the STEP Program, above). The main difficulty with evaluating employment programs is measuring crime prevention effects directly. Improved employment prospects may be more indirectly related to crime control.

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South Park Initiative (RecTech Teens, Boxing and ESL)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $90,718

Mechanisms: This program provides a variety of services, including academic support, language skills and supervised prosocial activities.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets. Strain theory suggests that denial of access to legitimate opportunities may lead to delinquency; language barriers may be related to actual or perceived denial of access.

Evidence Base: There is mixed evidence of variable quality for the different aspects of this program. See the Teen Late Night Program for evidence on the effectiveness of recreational programs. The evidence on academic support is somewhat limited in terms of evaluations of specific approaches, like the computer-aided training outside a school context provided by this program. However, the OJJDP Model Programs Guide reports a strong body of research showing a clear connection between academic failure and delinquency. Students who experience high academic achievement and attachment to school are less likely to be involved in delinquency; conversely academic failure is generally a risk factor for delinquency (although there is some disagreement over how these effects vary across different demographic characteristics). "The underlying point... is that for some students academic failure produces frustration and poor study habits. This, in turn, can initiate a chain of events that lead to a withdrawal from and rejection of participation in classroom activities, prompting some youth to become disruptive in class or even drop out of school. If left unchecked, this behavior can eventually lead to delinquency and other serious problem behaviors (Elliot and Voss, 1974). Research has also shown significant differences in language skills between matched samples of delinquent and non-delinquent juvenile males (Davis et al., 1991), which provides an empirical basis for language skill programs. The South Park Initiative also includes a gang monitoring element. The Maryland Report found that gang monitoring by community workers and probation and police officers was promising, although similar programs can increase crime if they increase gang cohesion (Sherman et al., 1998). However, there is little strong research on gang prevention through afterschool programs, detached workers, etc., and the findings generally do not show strong effects. There may even be backfire effects for crisis intervention with detachment officers.

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Summer Youth Employment (SPD Youth Outreach)

City FTE: portion of 2 full-time police officers dedicated to the Youth Outreach program

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Provides summer employment with the police, such as helping to plan and run events and crime prevention programs.

Theoretical Basis: Promoting prosocial bonding with social institutions within the community increases positive social control and may protect against delinquency. Routine activities theory is connected to the idea that opportunities for offending will be reduced if young people are not engaged in unsupervised socializing on the streets. Theories of legitimacy suggest that people are more likely to obey the law if they trust the police and feel the police treat them with respect and fairness.

Evidence Base: Evidence base is in line with the STEP program above for employment and skills training, and Power of Place for leadership and youth development programs. Thus, aspects of this program are promising but there is not strong evidence for the effectiveness of primarily employment/job skills-based programs. However, interaction with the police may also enhance legitimacy. A forthcoming Campbell review examines the impact of police programs to increase legitimacy that used elements of procedural justice (participation, neutrality, dignity/respect, and trustworthy motives). The programs studied are not similar to the activities here, but the review suggests that increasing legitimacy can enhance trust of police and cooperation with law, so it may indirectly reduce crime and disorder.

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Neighborhood District Coordinator Program

City FTE: 11.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: This program aims to connect citizens to government (civil engagement, problem solving); participate in community-based crime prevention programs; and become involved in problem-solving projects based on situational crime prevention and identifying repeat offenders.

Theoretical Basis: Social disorganization theory suggests that crime can occur when there is a lack of cohesion among residents of a neighborhood. Conversely, collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, offers protection against crime and disorder.

Evidence Base: Highly rigorous experiments and quasi-experiments have been conducted on similar programs. Results are mixed, although some programs are promising. Communities That Care programs are promising but evaluations have suffered from substantial implementation issues and difficulty determining the causal mechanisms of crime reductions (France & Crow, 2005). Evaluations of officer-led community policing1 programs, such as Project ROAR, show no significant differences between treatment and control. A forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review of community-oriented policing indicates that a wide variety of strategies fall under the banner of community policing, which limits the ability to draw conclusions about effective practices. Interventions aimed at increasing self-initiated community programs are generally less successful at crime prevention, while door-to-door visits by police can be more successful at reducing negative perceptions of the police and fear of crime. See also Connell et al. (2008); Giacomazzi (1995); Pate et al. (1987); Pate & Skogan (1985); Skogan et al. (1995); Wycoff & Skogan (1993); Wycoff et al. (1985); Papachristos et al. (2007); Weisburd et al. (2008a); Taylor et al. (2011); Martin & Sherman (1986); Buerger (1994), Weisburd & Eck (2004).

1Not currently available online; contact the author of this report for details.

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Seattle Neighborhood Group Safe Communities

City FTE: 0.10

Contracts: $381,330

Mechanisms: Community-based partnership programs based on community building, information dissemination, and problem solving, including crime analysis, community engagement with police and housing authority, crime prevention and personal safety training and brochures, drug-free communities, drug education and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Theoretical Basis: Social disorganization theory suggests that crime can occur when there is a lack of cohesion among residents of a neighborhood. Conversely, collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, offers protection against crime and disorder. Routine activities and opportunity theories focus on the nexus between motivated offenders, suitable targets and a lack of capable guardianship, suggesting that guardianship and offender crackdown strategies like hot spots policing may be effective for crime prevention.

Evidence Base: A large number of strategies are involved in this program, which causes difficulty in assessing the evidence base and understanding which tactics or combinations of tactics are most effective.

  • Multiple randomized experiments of hotspots policing programs have shown that increasing police presence at crime hotspots reduces crime with minimal displacement and possible diffusion of benefits (Sherman & Weisburd, 1995; Weisburd & Green, 1995; Weisburd et al., 2006; Braga & Bond, 2008).
  • Increased police patrol and problem-solving interventions in high crime areas are generally effective in reducing crime in disorder in targeted areas without displacement. Focusing specifically on interventions that attempted to involve community members in the policing strategy, problem-oriented policing and community policing interventions in focused on closing drug dealing locations and facilitating offender reentry into high crime areas have been effective in reducing crime (Green, 1993; 1995; 1996; Mazerolle et al., 1998; McCabe, 2009).
  • Evaluation of "reassurance policing" in the United Kingdom shows reduced crime, increased confidence in the police, and improved police-community cooperation (Tuffin et al., 2006).
  • Weak evidence shows general crime declines in areas that have received "drug-free communities" (DFC) funding and less substance abuse in DFC coalition areas, although these national level studies do not indicate the mechanisms by which DFCs work (Weatherly, Porowski, & Springer, 2011; The White House, 2011).
  • Over 70 quasi-experimental evaluations exist of police communication and publicity programs, with variable effects. Increased reporting of incidents involving vulnerable elderly adults followed home visitation and pamphlets, but there were no effects on victimization of monthly newsletters describing crime data or community meetings with the police. Overall, general publicity, such as posters and leaflets, are less effective than publicity about specific police operations and door-to-door campaigns (Pate et al., 1985; Wycoff & Skogan, 1993; Knoxville Police Department, 2002).
  • Direct meetings between police and managers of properties where nuisance was reported were more effective than letters from the police to the property managers (Eck & Wartell, 1999).
  • Weaker quasi experiments of CPTED-type programs like store redesign, property marking, closing walkways, improving the security of doors and windows have resulted in declines of crime in the target areas relative to control (Poyner, 1983; 1994; Farrington et al., 1993; Tilley & Webb, 1994; Hope, 1994; Guerette & Bowers, 2009).
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Only in Seattle Initiative

City FTE: 1.00

Contracts: $800,000

Mechanisms: This initiative involves a number of situational crime prevention strategies including hiring off-duty police officers for surveillance, closing problematic bars; block watches, "national night out," public safety forums, and community design changes such as street lighting and other security improvements

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities and opportunity theories focus on the nexus between motivated offenders, suitable targets and a lack of capable guardianship, aiming to remove at least one factor from the equation to prevent crime. Situational crime prevention is concerned with efforts to change the physical environment to make crime less appealing and increase perceptions of safety. Collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, offers protection against crime and disorder.

Evidence Base: Weak pre/post studies indicate that the presence of off-duty police officers at problem places (such as bars) may reduce loitering, drug dealing and problem behavior. However, effects did not persist after the intervention. Studies of other types of uniformed guards in banks, retail stores, parking lots and other high crime areas show a range of positive effects on crime and safety, depending on what guards were doing and their ability to observe the space. Block watch programs and safety forums are associated with reductions in burglary, but participation is greater in more affluent communities (e.g., Hannan, 1982; Kenney, 1986; Lindsay & McGillis, 1986; Pate et al., 1987; Harris & O'Connell, 1994; Popkin et al., 1995a; 1995b; Mazerolle et al., 2000; Cohen et al., 2003).

Civil remedies, including closing problematic bars, resulted in declines in violence in Australia. However, compliance with the code of practice ceased after the intervention and the violence returned. There are problems in the evaluation of these programs because the interventions often include multiple strategies that cannot be separated in the analysis (Homel et al., 1997; 2004).

Weaker evidence suggests that CPTED interventions such as store redesign, property marking, closing walkways, improving the security of doors and windows have resulted in declines of crime in the target areas relative to control (Poyner, 1991; 1994; Farrington et al., 1993; Tilley & Webb, 1994).

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Street Outreach/Critical Incident Response (SYVPI)

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $301,721

Mechanisms: This program aims to engage youth in the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, and respond to critical incidents to de-escalate situations and reduce retaliation

Theoretical Basis: Rational choice theory and deterrence: providing alternatives to violence, altering offenders' perceived risks and rewards from offending and changing perceived norms about violence.

Evidence Base: This program is similar to the violence interrupters and street workers in Chicago's Ceasefire intervention (Skogan et al., 2009), which was evaluated in a 7-site quasi-experimental evaluation. In four sites, Ceasefire was associated with statistically significant declines in actual and attempted shootings ranging from 16-28%. Hot spots also appeared cooler in 2 other sites, although it was not clear whether this was a program impact. However, similar programs in other sites have shown mixed results. The Pittsburgh One Vision One Life program (Wilson et al., 2010), which was a 6-point plan to stop shootings involving mediation, conflict intervention, community coalitions and rapid response, had implementation problems and resulted in increased homicide in one of three areas and increased aggravated and gun assaults in all areas. It is not known if these interventions are likely to have a longer-term positive impact, as evaluations have focused on short-term outcomes. Similar programs in Boston (Braga et al., 2001) and several other cities have shown better effects. Recently, preliminary findings from Baltimore's Safe Streets initiative (Webster et al., 2009) showed reduced homicide and shootings, but shootings fell more in the comparison sites. Newark's Operation Ceasefire (Boyle et al., 2010) showed no significant reductions in gunshot wounds or changes in rates in comparison areas. See also Papachristos, 2011.

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Crime Prevention Coordinators Program

City FTE: 4.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Police attend community meetings to provide crime prevention information and organization of neighborhood watches to increase informal social control and surveillance.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities theory highlights the importance of increasing guardianship to break the connection between potential offenders and targets. Social disorganization theory suggests that crime can occur when there is a lack of cohesion among residents of a neighborhood. Conversely, collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good, offers protection against crime and disorder.

Evidence Base: Evidence on neighborhood watch is mixed and based on moderately rigorous studies. The Maryland Report suggests it is ineffective but a Campbell Systematic Review (Bennett et al., 2008) finds a small but overall positive effect of neighborhood watch in 15 of the 18 studies reviewed (see also Bennett, 1990). Wycoff & Skogan (1993) found no decrease in victimization after increasing community meetings in Madison. Skogan et al. (1995) found some positive impact of community meetings in Chicago, but it was difficult to disentangle this impact from other elements of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy.

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Community Police Team Officers Program

City FTE: 21.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Problem solving efforts designed to address the underlying conditions leading to chronic problems in the community; forming partnerships with the community to reduce crime and increase legitimacy and trust in the police.

Theoretical Basis: For problem solving, the theoretical approach can vary based on the specific problem being addressed. Routine activities theory is often relevant to identifying problems and their solutions. Community collaboration reflects the notion of collective efficacy, which indicates social cohesion and the community's willingness to work together for the common good and can be protective against crime and disorder.

Evidence Base: A Campbell Systematic Review (Weisburd et al., 2008b) reports rigorous evidence that problem-oriented policing specifically using the SARA (Scanning-Analysis-Response-Assessment) model of problem solving can have a significant impact on crime (see also Braga et al., 1999; Weisburd & Green, 1995; Mazerolle et al., 2000). A forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review of community-oriented policing2 that specifically focuses on police-community collaboration does not show strong evidence of a crime control effect from these programs, but it is difficult to draw conclusions from this body of research because such a variation of practices and strategies fall under the definition of community policing. Often multiple strategies are included in the same program so it is impossible to tell which, if any, result in crime prevention (see also Tuffin et al., 2006; Koper et al., 2010; McElroy et al., 1990).

2Not currently available online; contact the author of this report for details.

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Park Rangers

City FTE: 6.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Park rangers serve as place managers, providing increased guardianship through their ability to address anti-social behavior by enforcing park code violations.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities theory – increasing guardianship to prevent the convergence of offenders and targets.

Evidence Base: No studies could be located on the specific effect of park rangers. Weaker studies have examined the effectiveness of guards or security officers in settings like banks and airports and tend to show a wide range of effects. The Maryland Report indicates no evidence for the effectiveness of guards, except at airports, where they were assessed as promising. A review by Welsh, Mudge, and Farrington (2009) describes security guards in parking lots as a promising strategy but notes that the effectiveness of other place managers remains unknown due to the small number of weak studies.

Anecdotal reports suggest that people like having rangers around, but it is not clear if this translates into additional crime or non-crime related benefits. The increased guardianship rangers provide fits in well with notions of routine activities theory, but it's not clear if the number of park rangers is a sufficient level of guardianship for the 10 parks for which they are responsible. The 2010 Seattle evaluation (cited in the CBO report) reported a 71% decrease in incident reports in parks patrolled by rangers, comparing 2007 to 2009. However, this study has a weak design that could be susceptible to confounding by other factors, such as the installation of CCTV in Cal Anderson Park in early 2008.

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School Emphasis Truancy and Suspension Reduction

City FTE: portion of 6 full-time police officers dedicated to the school-based programs

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Home visits and school-based work by school police officers to prevent truancy through family-based prevention, referrals to services, and mediation.

Theoretical Basis: Social control theory suggests that improving prosocial bonding within the family and other social institutions is protective against crime. Learning theory and differential association suggest that delinquent behavior is learned from interactions with others, so family attitudes to offending may lead to delinquency. Environmental risk factors for crime within the home may be addressed.

Evidence Base: The OJJDP Model Programs Guide reports that there is only limited, non-rigorous evidence on truancy prevention. Some of this research shows positive effects, but the Truant Recovery Program (White et al., 2001), which is most similar to Seattle's program, led to a slight backfire effect on delinquency. This program authorized local police to make contact with young people on the streets during school hours and to contact and meet with their parents and/or return them to school. The program, which used a pre/post design without a comparison group, found lower rates of absence and disciplinary action and increased conformity to school rules after the program compared to before; however, there was a slight, non-significant increase in arrests and formal contact with the juvenile justice system. Problems of missing data and a weaker study design cast some doubt on the findings.

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School Emphasis Officers (SYVPI)

City FTE: portion of 6 full-time police officers dedicated to the school-based programs

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: School Emphasis Officers (school police officers) seek to reduce violence through mediation and referrals to SYVPI. They provide surveillance of activities and aim to increase student trust so students will report crime to them

Theoretical Basis: Presence of officers provide a general deterrent to students to discourage them from delinquent behavior in school committing crime. Routine activities theory suggests that increased guardianship may break the nexus between a motivated offender and suitable target.

Evidence Base: There is very little evidence on the effectiveness of school police officers. The first national study, a quasi-experiment by Na and Gottfredson (2011) suggests that increasing presence of police in schools is significantly related to increases in per capita weapon/drug crimes. It is not significantly related to increases in any other crime type, but there is no evidence that officer presence decreased any crime type (compare Theriot (2009), who found variable results according to crime type). Qualitative research by Kupchik (2010) finds that less serious incidents are more likely to be responded to by the juvenile justice system rather than internally when school police officers are present. Rather than directly causing an increase in crime, this is more likely a surveillance/reporting effect, whereby incidents are more likely to come to the attention of the police because of their presence within the school. However, a Campbell Systematic Review by Petrosino et al. (2010) shows that formal contact with the juvenile justice system can increase future delinquency when compared to doing nothing or resolving situations outside the criminal justice system. Thus, turning to the police and juvenile justice system to respond to incidents rather than resolving them in school may have negative consequences in the longer term.

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Proactive Gang Unit Program

City FTE: 7.00

Contracts: N/A

Mechanisms: Officer presence around schools and other areas where youth congregate will keep gang members from offending and will hold them accountable.

Theoretical Basis: Deterrence: presence of police officers increases accountability of gang members and discourages offending.

Evidence Base: A forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review highlights moderately rigorous quasi-experimental evidence showing that efforts by the gang unit to hold gang members accountable in a focused deterrence framework (e.g. a "pulling levers" program) can be effective in reducing gang-related violence (see also Braga & Weisburd, 2011; Braga, 2008; Braga et al., 2008). However, this program is more analogous to the evidence on police officers in schools (see School Emphasis Officers above), which suggests that increased police presence in and around schools can increase reporting and detection of crime and may result in the escalation of minor incidents into the juvenile justice system. The research described above indicates that such escalation could have a backfire effect on future delinquency.

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Prostituted Youth Residential Recovery – The Bridge; Prostituted Youth Advocacy

City FTE: 0.5

Contracts: $482,113 (The Bridge); $66,177 (Advocacy); Total $548,290

Mechanisms: Provides advocacy, case management, and shelter to young people involved in prostitution.

Theoretical Basis: Practical assistance such as treatment, rehabilitation and legal aid.

Evidence Base: No direct evidence on advocacy and other services for youth involved in prostitution. In juvenile justice program generally, individualized therapy, skill building, and behavior treatment are effective, and appear to work better than advocacy and casework (Lipsey, Wilson, and Cothern, 2000).

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Prostituted Youth Residential Recovery – The Bridge; Prostituted Youth Advocacy

City FTE: 0.5

Contracts: $482,113 (The Bridge); $66,177 (Advocacy); Total $548,290

Mechanisms: Provides advocacy, case management, and shelter to young people involved in prostitution.

Theoretical Basis: Practical assistance such as treatment, rehabilitation and legal aid.

Evidence Base: No direct evidence on advocacy and other services for youth involved in prostitution. In juvenile justice program generally, individualized therapy, skill building, and behavior treatment are effective, and appear to work better than advocacy and casework (Lipsey, Wilson, and Cothern, 2000).

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Crime Prevention and Re-Entry (Co-STARS, CURB, GOTS)

City FTE: 0.50

Contracts: $400,000 (Co-STARS); $247,200 (CURB); $317,200 (GOTS); Total $964,400.

Mechanisms: Co-STARS' focus is on mental health treatment, case management, and drug treatment. CURB focuses on youths "of color" who live in Rainier Beach neighborhood involved in drug, criminal or gang related activities. COTS services adults of color with criminal histories at 23rd and Union.

Theoretical Basis: Client driven service, case management, peer support, partnerships, and low barrier access to services for those reentering system. This approach focuses on reduced supervision and increased rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.

Evidence Base: The City of Seattle asked the University of Washington to develop a framework for evaluation, but the results are currently unknown. The Maryland Report and other crime prevention research indicate that programs that are vague, nondirective and unstructured do not work. More specified, cognitive behavioral and drug treatment seem more effective (Landenberger & Lipsey, 2005; Lipsey, Landenberger, and Wilson, 2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy has a positive effect on recidivism for both adult and juvenile offenders, according to rigorous randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments.

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Crime Prevention and Re-Entry (Co-STARS, CURB, GOTS)

City FTE: 0.50

Contracts: $400,000 (Co-STARS); $247,200 (CURB); $317,200 (GOTS); Total $964,400.

Mechanisms: Co-STARS' focus is on mental health treatment, case management, and drug treatment. CURB focuses on youths "of color" who live in Rainier Beach neighborhood involved in drug, criminal or gang related activities. COTS services adults of color with criminal histories at 23rd and Union.

Theoretical Basis: Client driven service, case management, peer support, partnerships, and low barrier access to services for those reentering system. This approach focuses on reduced supervision and increased rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.

Evidence Base: The City of Seattle asked the University of Washington to develop a framework for evaluation, but the results are currently unknown. The Maryland Report and other crime prevention research indicate that programs that are vague, nondirective and unstructured do not work. More specified, cognitive behavioral and drug treatment seem more effective (Landenberger & Lipsey, 2005; Lipsey, Landenberger, and Wilson, 2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy has a positive effect on recidivism for both adult and juvenile offenders, according to rigorous randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments.

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Crime Prevention and Re-Entry (Co-STARS, CURB, GOTS)

City FTE: 0.50

Contracts: $400,000 (Co-STARS); $247,200 (CURB); $317,200 (GOTS); Total $964,400.

Mechanisms: Co-STARS' focus is on mental health treatment, case management, and drug treatment. CURB focuses on youths "of color" who live in Rainier Beach neighborhood involved in drug, criminal or gang related activities. COTS services adults of color with criminal histories at 23rd and Union.

Theoretical Basis: Client driven service, case management, peer support, partnerships, and low barrier access to services for those reentering system. This approach focuses on reduced supervision and increased rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.

Evidence Base: The City of Seattle asked the University of Washington to develop a framework for evaluation, but the results are currently unknown. The Maryland Report and other crime prevention research indicate that programs that are vague, nondirective and unstructured do not work. More specified, cognitive behavioral and drug treatment seem more effective (Landenberger & Lipsey, 2005; Lipsey, Landenberger, and Wilson, 2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy has a positive effect on recidivism for both adult and juvenile offenders, according to rigorous randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments.

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Housing First

City FTE: 0.25

Contracts: $2,332,664

Mechanisms: Provision of housing, treatment and resources to homeless to increase residential stability and support.

Theoretical Basis: Homelessness may be a risk factor for crime and victimization through routine activities (hardship may provide a motivation to offend, or vulnerable situation may lead to the homeless person becoming a suitable target for victimization).

Evidence Base: A forthcoming Campbell Systematic Review examines 32 rigorous randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments of Housing First programs. Preliminary findings indicate that programs combining housing, treatment and services are better than no housing or no treatment at reducing homelessness and increasing residential stability. However, when "Housing First" models are compared with "Treatment First" models, there are contradictory effects, depending on the location of the program. The crime prevention effectiveness of Housing First has not been tested and would be difficult to measure directly.

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Emergency Services Patrol

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $542,116

Mechanisms: Provides screening and transport to inebriated individuals to service agencies, shifting resources across emergency services.

Theoretical Basis: Routine activities. Immediate intervention with inebriated individuals may reduce risk of becoming a victim or motivated offender.

Evidence Base: No evidence on effectiveness of this program for any outcomes (such as accidents, overdoses, etc.), including crime prevention. There appears to be no direct crime prevention purpose here.

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Needle Exchange

City FTE: N/A

Contracts: $406,112

Mechanisms: Providing clean needles can improve public health by reducing the risk of transmitted diseases.

Theoretical Basis: This program is not specifically intended to prevent crime.

Evidence Base: The public health literature indicates that needle exchanges can reduce transmission of HIV and other diseases. A systematic review from the United Kingdom (Jones et al., 2008) shows positive findings in some studies for reducing risky behavior and disease. However, research does not measure an effect on crime, and the program is not intended to have crime prevention outcomes.

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