Evaluation of the St. Louis Weed and Seed Initiative

Adam Bossler, University of Missouri - St. Louis

ABSTRACT
Operation Weed and Seed is a major federal initiative with the goal to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in designated neighborhoods through a blend of "weeding" (law enforcement/policing and prosecution) and "seeding" (social service programs) efforts. Although the National Evaluation of Weed and Seed found support for Weed and Seed, it did not use control neighborhoods. In this paper, the author presents the findings from the evaluation of the St. Louis Weed and Seed Initiative which compared crime trend data of the seven treatment neighborhoods with that of the city, contiguous, and control neighborhoods. Four main conclusions were found. First, Weed and Seed was found to have had an effect on certain crime rates for certain treatment neighborhoods. Second, Weed and Seed had a stronger effect on violent crimes than on property crimes. Third, Weed and Seed had a stronger effect on the northern treatment neighborhoods than on the southern treatment neighborhoods. Finally, many of the Weed and Seed effects were discovered in the later mature years of the initiative.

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Updated 05/20/2006