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Drugs, Race and Common Ground: Reflections on the High Point Intervention

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 262 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 12-17
Date Published
March 2009
6 pages
Publication Series
This article reviews the history and effects of the High Point Intervention, a strategy that uses a “focused deterrence” approach for countering drug markets.
The High Point Intervention first identifies a particular drug market. Violent dealers are arrested, and nonviolent dealers are brought to a “call-in” where they face a room full of law enforcement officers, social service providers, community figures, ex-offenders, and “influentials” (partners, relatives, and others with close, important relationships with particular dealers). The drug dealers are told that they are valuable to the community and the drug dealing must stop. They are offered social services to meet various personal needs. They are also informed that local law enforcement has developed cases on them, but that their cases will be “banked” (temporarily suspended). Finally, they are given an ultimatum to stop their drug dealing or their cases will be activated. This intervention strategy is based in the assumption that everyone, regardless of race, wants to be protected from the most dangerous people in their communities while believing that help should be provided for those who want to become law-abiding members of the community. In 2006, the National Institute of Justice funded the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in an evaluation of the Highpoint Intervention in Highpoint, NC. Preliminary results indicate that in the 4 years since the intervention was implemented in one High Point neighborhood, violent crime has declined an average of 39 percent, and drug crime has declined 30 percent. The final evaluation results are expected in spring 2009. 2 figures and 2 notes

Date Published: March 1, 2009