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Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Blueprint for Success

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2021
21 pages

After reviewing the features, history, and proven effectiveness of the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, this report identifies and describes the implementation of the various PSN features linked to its effective performance.


The Department of Justice’s PSN is a nationwide initiative that develops a collaboration among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community leaders, and other stakeholders for the purpose of identifying the most pressing violent- crime problems in a community, followed by the development and implementation of comprehensive efforts to address identified problems. PSN is led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) in the 94 federal judicial districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories. Across all districts, the PSN model follows four key design elements: community engagement, prevention and intervention, focused and strategic enforcement, and accountability. The common methodology is to incorporate research and data analysis to inform decision-making and effective violence-reduction strategies. A rigorous evaluation conducted in 2010 found that PSN target cities experienced reduced levels of violence compared to non-PSN target cities and PSN districts with lower levels of PSN implementation. A 4-percent reduction in violent crime due to full PSN implementation was the conservative estimate. The current report explains the design and implementation of the 11 features of a fully implemented PSN model in a district. These are 1) develop a PSN proposal, 2) identify and certify a fiscal agent, 3) receive an award, 4) form a PSN team, 5) complete a Grant Action Plan (GAP), 6) analyze the problem (violent crime), 7) develop a strategic plan, 8) implement the PSN strategy, 9) conduct an ongoing assessment, 10) evaluate the PSN strategy, and 11) plan and practice sustainability.  

Date Published: May 1, 2021