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Community Cleanup

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
6 pages
Community cleanup programs can produce tangible results in crime prevention because crime is less likely to occur when neighborhoods are clean, well-lighted, and used frequently by residents and their friends.
Community cleanup programs can involve all kinds of public spaces, such as parks, schoolyards, sidewalks, playing fields, and parking lots. Steps involved in planning a successful program include assessing community needs, lining up resources, acting on plans, and monitoring and evaluation. Realistic cleanup goals should be established and volunteer program participants should be motivated and well-organized. Both adults and young people should be involved in community cleanup programs and should be made aware of benefits to neighborhoods of cleanup efforts and should be encouraged to form partnerships. Community cleanup programs should produce the following results: (1) improve the appearance of an area that was previously neglected, abandoned, vandalized, or misused; (2) allow community members to use and enjoy the improved area more than they did before the cleanup; and (3) strengthen community ties of those involved in the cleanup. The effectiveness of community cleanup programs should be evaluated in terms of reducing fear of crime, cost- effectiveness, impact, support and resources, and community safety.