U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Project Safe Neighborhoods in West Virginia: Selected Findings From Gun Crime and Domestic Violence Initiatives

NCJ Number
Stephen M. Hass Ph.D.; Erica Turley
Date Published
54 pages
This report describes West Virginia's Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a Federal initiative aimed at reducing gun violence in local communities through coordinated strategic planning, and presents selected findings from an analysis of a statewide telephone survey of the general population and official reports of crime in the State.
Gun violence problems were identified by West Virginia's two Federal judicial districts, and each district took a slightly different approach in implementing PSN. The primary intervention in each district, however, was the creation of a media campaign based on deterring gun violence through making the public aware of Federal firearms laws. Toward this end, television, radio, billboards, and posters, flyers, and stickers spread the message in each district. In one district, a two-pronged strategy of vigorous prosecution and media outreach was developed in an effort to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and gun-related crime in general. The campaign launched in the fall of 2003 promoted the message, "If you beat your partner, you lose your guns, all of them, for life." In addition to the media campaign, training was held for domestic-violence victim advocates and law enforcement officers regarding Federal firearms laws and their application in domestic violence cases. The other district launched the project, "Hard Time for Gun Crime” (HTGC), which focuses on those who possess/use firearms illegally and at-risk youth. The HTGC strategy includes community awareness through a comprehensive media campaign, increased prosecutions, and programming that targets at-risk youth. The media campaign was initially begun in the spring of 2004 with the message, "Commit a crime with a gun, spend 5 years to life in Federal prison, no parole." In addition, law enforcement officers across the district were instructed in how to recognize the components of a Federal case. 20 tables, 15 graphs and 19 figures