National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Evaluation of the Weed and Seed Initiative in the United States, 1994 (ICPSR 6789)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Department of Justice launched Operation Weed and Seed in 1991 as a means of mobilizing a large and varied array of resources in a comprehensive, coordinated effort to control crime and drug problems and improve the quality of life in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. In the long term, Weed and Seed programs are intended to reduce levels of crime, violence, drug trafficking, and fear of crime, and to create new jobs, improve housing, enhance the quality of neighborhood life, and reduce alcohol and drug use. This baseline data collection effort is the initial step toward assessing the achievement of the long-term objectives. The evaluation was conducted using a quasi-experimental design, matching households in comparison neighborhoods with the Weed and Seed target neighborhoods. Comparison neighborhoods were chosen to match Weed and Seed target neighborhoods on the basis of crime rates, population demographics, housing characteristics, and size and density. Neighborhoods in eight sites were selected: Akron, OH, Bradenton (North Manatee), FL, Hartford, CT, Las Vegas, NV, Pittsburgh, PA, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, and Shreveport, LA. The "neighborhood" in Hartford, CT, was actually a public housing development, which is part of the reason for the smaller number of interviews at this site. Baseline data collection tasks included the completion of in-person surveys with residents in the target and matched comparison neighborhoods, and the provision of guidance to the sites in the collection of important process data on a routine uniform basis. The survey questions can be broadly divided into these areas: (1) respondent demographics, (2) household size and income, (3) perceptions of the neighborhood, and (4) perceptions of city services. Questions addressed in the course of gathering the baseline data include: Are the target and comparison areas sufficiently well-matched that analytic contrasts between the areas over time are valid? Is there evidence that the survey measures are accurate and valid measures of the dependent variables of interest -- fear of crime, victimization, etc.? Are the sample sizes and response rates sufficient to provide ample statistical power for later analyses? Variables cover respondents' perceptions of the neighborhood, safety and observed security measures, police effectiveness, and city services, as well as their ratings of neighborhood crime, disorder, and other problems. Other items included respondents' experiences with victimization, calls/contacts with police and satisfaction with police response, and involvement in community meetings and events. Demographic information on respondents includes year of birth, gender, ethnicity, household income, and employment status.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (5 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Roehl, Jan. EVALUATION OF THE WEED AND SEED INITIATIVE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1994. ICPSR version. Alexandria, VA: Institute for Social Analysis [producer], 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06789.v1

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Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (94-IJ-CX-0048)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   alcohol abuse, crime control, crime rates, crime reduction, drug abuse, drug traffic, fear of crime, households, neighborhoods, perceptions, police effectiveness, police response, population characteristics, public housing, violence

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1995-02--1995-05

Unit of Observation:   Individuals living in households within the comparison and target neighborhoods.

Universe:   Individuals living in households within comparison and target neighborhoods in Akron, OH, Bradenton, FL, Hartford, CT, Las Vegas, NV, Pittsburgh, PA, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, and Shreveport, LA.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook, user guide, and data collection instrument are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The Department of Justice launched Operation Weed and Seed in 1991 as a means of mobilizing a large and varied array of resources in a comprehensive, coordinated effort to control crime and drug problems and improve the quality of life in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. In the long term, Weed and Seed programs are intended to reduce levels of crime, violence, drug trafficking, and fear, and to create new jobs, improve housing, enhance the quality of neighborhood life, and reduce the use of drugs and alcohol. This baseline data collection effort is the initial step toward assessing the achievement of the long-term objectives. Questions addressed in the course of gathering the baseline data include: Are the target and comparison areas sufficiently well-matched that analytic contrasts between the areas over time are valid? Is there evidence that the survey measures are accurate and valid measures of the dependent variables of interest -- fear of crime, victimization, etc.? Are the sample sizes and response rates sufficient to provide ample statistical power for later analyses?

Study Design:   This baseline data collection effort was conducted using a quasi-experimental design, matching comparison neighborhoods with the Weed and Seed target neighborhoods. Comparison neighborhoods were chosen to match Weed and Seed target neighborhoods on the basis of crime rates, population demographics, housing characteristics, and size and density. Neighborhoods in eight sites were selected: Akron, OH, Bradenton (North Manatee), FL, Hartford, CT, Las Vegas, NV, Pittsburgh, PA, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, and Shreveport, LA. Baseline data collection tasks included the completion of in-person surveys with residents in the target and matched comparison neighborhoods, and the provision of guidance to the sites in the collection of important process data on a routine uniform basis. The in-person surveys involved the local recruitment and training of supervisors and interviewers, questionnaire development and testing, and the development of validation and contact instruments, recording forms, survey procedures, and household sampling plans.

Sample:   Two primary criteria for site selection were: (1) that a comprehensive Weed and Seed program had been implemented in the neighborhood, including seeding activities, and (2) that records be available for assessment of the program's impact on the target neighborhood. The selection of candidate neighborhoods was based on (1) analyses of police and census data on the variables of interest identified above, and (2) subjective reports from Weed and Seed, police, and community representatives concerning the "match" of candidate neighborhoods to Weed and Seed neighborhoods on physical, social, and crime characteristics that might not be reflected in official data. Based on consultations with local officials, matched comparison neighborhoods were selected that were as similar as possible to the character of the target area. Once the comparison neighborhoods were selected, households in comparison and target neighborhoods were randomly selected for interviews. In the majority of sites, some sort of comprehensive listing of addresses was located to facilitate the selection.

Data Source:

personal interviews

Description of Variables:   The survey questions can be broadly divided into ten areas: (1) respondent demographics, (2) household size and income, (3) perceptions of the neighborhood, (4) ratings of neighborhood crime, disorder, and other problems, (5) perceptions of safety and observed security measures, (6) victimization, (7) calls/contacts with police and satisfaction with police response, (8) perceptions of police effectiveness, (9) perceptions of city services, and (10) citizen involvement in community meetings and events. From the survey data, the following baseline measures are arguably most central to Weed and Seed objectives: (a) satisfaction with the neighborhood, perceptions of drug-dealing and violent crime, (b) fear of crime, (c) victimization, (d) police contact, responsiveness, and effectiveness, and (e) citizen involvement.

Response Rates:   The number of interviews completed for each of the eight sites are: Akron, OH: 239, Bradenton, FL: 641, Hartford, CT: 83, Las Vegas, NV: 510, Pittsburgh, PA: 471, Salt Lake City, UT: 245, Seattle, WA: 571, and Shreveport, LA: 262.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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