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Impact of Policing on Social Disorder: Summary of Findings
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Social disorder is signaled by bands of teenagers skipping school and congregating on street corners, prostitutes and panhandlers soliciting for attention, public drinking, vandalism, the verbal harassment of women on the street, street violence, and open gambling and drug use. The types of police programs evaluated were home visits, which gather information about neighborhood problems from citizens who have not called the police; police storefront offices, which provide a locus for decentralized neighborhood- oriented police programs; foot patrols; intensive enforcement that involved 'street sweeps;' and multiprogram efforts that involved combinations of community policing and intensive enforcement efforts. In almost every case, the programs described were evaluated with a quasi-experimental research design. Each program was conducted in a different area, while another matched area was designated as a comparison area where no new policing programs were instituted. Surveys of residents were conducted in the target and comparison areas before and after the programs had been operating for a period that ranged from 10 months to 2 years. A variety of other kinds of data were collected as well. This report draws together some of the evaluation data and describes a new analysis that combines the results in one 'meta-evaluation' of the programs. Findings show that two community policing strategies--door-to-door visits and storefront offices--were significantly associated with lower levels of social disorder. On the other hand, exposure to intensive enforcement programs and foot patrol was associated with higher levels of social disorder afterward, compared to the other areas. Differential impact of the programs is examined by the race of the respondents in the evaluations. source
NCJ 148652
United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

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