A project to eliminate drug-related crime in public housing in Spokane, Wash. was evaluated by means of a process evaluation and a short-term impact evaluation.
Project ROAR (Reclaiming Our Area Residences) was established in 1994 through a public-private, interagency collaboration to empower public housing in an effort to produce a safer neighborhood. The program targeted a poor neighborhood in the central business district with a large elderly and transient population that was experiencing high rates of drug dealing and related crime and disorder problems. The program included police activities, community involvement, and situational crime prevention. Information was collected by means of interviews with public housing residents, surveys of city residents, a physical inventory of neighborhoods, statistics on offenses and arrests, observations of program meetings and activities, focus group sessions with participants, and interviews with residents of the broader neighborhood and a comparison neighborhood. Results indicated that the program has resulted in positive changes in residents' perceptions of the overall quality of their neighborhood life and police services. The official crime data are less clear; the physical and social setting experienced little change. Results are encouraging, but future research should assess the extent of crime displacement. Nevertheless, Project ROAR has succeeded where many other community crime prevention programs have failed. Figures, tables, study instruments, and 111 references
Date Published: January 1, 1997
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