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Concept Intro: Collective Efficacy

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2017
2 pages
Intended primarily for grantees developing and implementing public-safety strategies under the model of the federal Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI), this instructional paper discusses the concept of "collective efficacy" and its relevance to making neighborhoods safer.
"Collective efficacy" is defined as "the confidence residents have in their neighbors." A related concept, "social cohesion," refers to daily interactions with community services and institutions. Collective efficacy and social cohesion can increase residents' willingness to act as neighborhood guardians and protectors of the property and safety of their neighbors. Social cohesion fuels cooperation among organizations, local businesses, police, and residents in making their community safer. Case studies of where efforts to build collective efficacy have worked are reported for Berea, KY; Seattle, WA; Syracuse, NY; and Dayton, OH.