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Street by Street: Cross-Site Evaluation of the OJJDP Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
Kathleen A. Tomberg and Jeffrey A. Butts
This report presents the methodology and findings of a process and outcome evaluation of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Community Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) demonstration in five U.S. cities (Brooklyn, NY; Denver, CO; Newark, NJ; Oakland CA; and Washington, DC).
Overall, the findings presented suggest that the CBVP demonstration program “may have led to positive changes in the communities involved, but evaluators were unable to tie these changes to the demonstration efforts.” Instead, the evaluators were forced to rely upon staff interviews and direct observation to provide anecdotal support for the study’s main conclusions. Data on violent crime and youth crime in the cities showed an overall decline, but the degree to which these declines could be attributed to CBVP program components could not be determined. A rigorous, comparative evaluation of the CBVP demonstration was not possible due to the varied strategies used by each of the five cities, the lack of geographically and age-specific data on violence, and the evaluation’s inability to control for the variety of external influences that may have influenced crime trends in the program target areas. Conducting rigorous and controlled evaluations of community-based crime-reduction efforts requires the ability to address these factors from the project’s beginning. Programmatic funding should be linked to strict guidelines that are designed to support research goals. This effort might include a singular intervention model across sites and mandatory data collection and submission procedures. All the city projects in CBVP shared common elements; however, cities varied in the implementation of their strategies. The cities also differed in the nature, dynamics, and factors driving youth violence and gang activity in their local areas. This influenced the overall design and implementation of the program and the type and availability of data. 46 references
Date Created: November 14, 2016