This evaluation of the Eastside Substance Abuse Awareness Program in Wilmington, Del., focuses on assessing the impact of three of the program's components on illicit drug activity.
The Eastside Substance Awareness Program is a comprehensive, community-based effort to reduce illicit drug activity in Wilmington's Eastside neighborhood. The program is "comprehensive" in that it augments the traditional law enforcement-based approach toward reducing the availability of illicit drugs with strategies that are designed to address related issues such as community development, resident empowerment, drug demand reduction, and neighborhood revitalization. The Eastside was selected as the target neighborhood because Wilmington Police Department statistics show that a number of drug "hot spots" were located in the Eastside neighborhood. The evaluation focused on three of the program's components on illicit drug activity: enhanced law enforcement efforts with an emphasis on community policing; improved community organization, including the establishment of a neighborhood police advisory board, a block captain network, and neighborhood watch groups; and an increase in the number and types of social, educational, and rehabilitative services available to the residents. The research design was an interrupted time series with non-equivalent no-treatment control groups quasi-experimental design. Evaluation findings show that community policing apparently kept most of the drug activity confined to a single reporting area. In addition, even the most active drug "hot spots" were not nearly as active as they were in 1990 or 1991. The community organization component of the program had a major setback in 1991 as a result of the program coordinator's resignation. The analysis of programs and services show there is a need for programs that target adolescent and young adult males, particularly programs that emphasize educational attainment and the development of marketable job skills. 6 tables, 2 charts, and a 10-item bibliography
Date Published: January 1, 1994