Evaluation of the Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1998-2001 (ICPSR 20362)
Principal Investigator(s): Easterling, Doug, University of North Carolina-Greensboro; Harvey, Lynn, Winston Salem State University; Mac-Thompson, Donald, Winston Salem State University; Allen, Marcus, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
The purpose of this study was to perform an initial evaluation of key aspects of the Winston-Salem Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI). The research team administered a SACSI Process Questionnaire to the SACSI Core Team and Working Group during the fall of 2000. Part 1, SACSI Core Team/Working Group Questionnaire Data, provides survey responses from 28 members of the Working Group and/or Core Team who completed the questionnaires. Variables in Part 1 were divided into four sections: (1) perceived functioning of the Core Team/Working Group, (2) personal experience of the group/team member, (3) perceived effectiveness or ineffectiveness of various elements of the SACSI program, and (4) reactions to suggestions for increasing the scope of the SACSI program. The research team also conducted an analysis of reoffending among SACSI Offenders in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in order to assess whether criminal behavior changed following the implementation of the Notification Program that was conducted with offenders on probation to communicate to them the low tolerance for violent crime in the community. To determine if criminal behavior changed following the program, the research team obtained arrest records from the Winston-Salem Police Department of 138 subjects who attended a notification session between September 9, 1999, and September 7, 2000. These records are contained in Part 2, Notification Program Offender Data. Variables in Part 2 included notification (status and date), age group, prior record, and 36 variables pertaining to being arrested for or identified as a suspect in nine specific types of crime.
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Easterling, Doug, Lynn Harvey, Donald Mac-Thompson, and Marcus Allen. EVALUATION OF THE STRATEGIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVE (SACSI) IN WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA, 1998-2001. ICPSR20362-v1. Greensboro, NC: Doug Easterling and Marcus Allen/Winston Salem State University, NC: Lynn Harvey and Donald Mac-Thompson [producer], 2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-02-28. doi:10.3886/ICPSR20362.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20362.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2000-IJ-CX-0048)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: community involvement, crime prevention, delinquent behavior, firearms, gun use, intervention, juvenile crime, juvenile offenders, law enforcement, public safety, violence, violent crime, weapons offenses, youthful offenders
Smallest Geographic Unit: none
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: Part 1: All members of the Winston-Salem Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) Core Team and/or Working Group in the fall of 2000. Part 2: All juveniles with a history of violent offending, juveniles who had exhibited behavior that suggested they were on the path to violent crime, and adult offenders who had involved juveniles in their crime in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from 1998 to 2001.
Data Types: aggregate data, and survey data
Data Collection Notes:
(1) Data from the following evaluation methods are not available as part of this collection: Interviews with the Core Team, Interviews with the project director, Observation of notification sessions, Observation of Operation Reach sessions, Interviews with SACSI partners involved in notification, Interviews with SACSI partners involved in Operation Reach, Interviews with offenders who participated in SACSI, Focus group with parents, and Analysis of violence trends in Winston-Salem. (2) Some information such as the dates in which offenders were notified and the total sample size differed between the final report and the data. Users should be aware that when study information differed between the final report and the data, ICPSR referenced the data, and not figures contained in the final report, to compose description and citation information. (3) Users are encouraged to refer to the final report cited in the "Related Literature" section of this study for more detailed information regarding the study design, methodology, and sampling.
Study Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform an initial evaluation of key aspects of the Winston-Salem Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI). The evaluation design was intended to assess how the Winston-Salem initiative operated with regard to both the overall SACSI process and the Notification Program. The primary objective of the SACSI Process Questionnaire was to perform an evaluation of the overall SACSI process. The goal of the program-level evaluation of notification was to determine if the initiative was effective in communicating the message that "violence will not be tolerated in Winston-Salem" and providing youthful offenders with opportunities and support for a more positive life course.
The research team administered a Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI) Process Questionnaire to the SACSI Core Team and Working Group during the fall of 2000. The SACSI Process Questionnaire covered a broad range of issues related to the way in which the SACSI process was unfolding from the perspective of the Core Team and the Working Group. All members of the Core Team and the Working Group were provided with questionnaires to complete at the beginning of one of their respective meetings. Part 1 provides survey responses from 28 members of the Working Group and/or Core Team who completed the questionnaires. The questionnaires were essentially equivalent except that Core Team members were asked to rate a number of issues with regard to the Core Team, while Working Group members were asked to rate those same issues with regard to the Working Group. Individuals who were members of both the Working Group and the Core Team completed the survey only once.
The research team also conducted an analysis of reoffending among SACSI Offenders in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in order to assess whether criminal behavior changed following the implementation of the Notification Program. The Notification Program entailed delivering a "stop-the-violence" message to juvenile offenders, as well as adult offenders who were known to be involving juveniles in their crimes. Typically, those being notified were on probation. Under this program the Winston-Salem Police Department "called in" a group of individuals from the target population and, over the course of a one- to two-hour session, repeatedly "notified" the participants that the community would not tolerate any more instances of violent behavior on their part. The message for older offenders was, "No guns, no violence, and do not involve kids in criminal activity." For juveniles the message of "No guns, no violence," was the same.
To determine if criminal behavior changed following the Notification Program, the research team obtained arrest records from the Winston-Salem Police Department of 138 subjects who had attended a notification session between September 9, 1999 and September 7, 2000 (Part 2). These records listed all arrests for SACSI-defined crimes (i.e., homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, rape, robbery, and weapons violation), as well as arrests for "simple assault" between January 1998 and January 2001. The final report stated that any given individual in the sample was followed for at least one year subsequent to notification. However, given the revised versions of Table 10, Table 12, and Table 13 that the principal investigators provided, not all notified offenders were followed for at least one year. Rather, all notified offenders were followed up through January 31, 2001, regardless of their notification date.
For Part 1, the sample consisted of a total of 28 members of the Working Group and/or Core Team. The 14-member Core Team is a group of institutional leaders (e.g., United States attorney, superintendent of schools, police chief, director of CenterPoint Human Services, and the director of the district office of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention) who established the strategic focus and programmatic direction for SACSI during the planning phase of the initiative. The Working Group consisted of about 25 individuals who were "on the ground" carrying out the programs and activities of SACSI. These individuals represented the same agencies involved in the Core Team, plus a number of community-based organizations that became invested in SACSI over the course of the first two years of operation (e.g., Parks and Recreation, the Urban League, and VisionsWork Youth Services).
For Part 2, the sample consisted of all those Track 1A, Track 1B, or Track 2 offenders who had been notified between September 1999 and September 2000 and who had criminal records within the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) database. A total of 138 offenders, including 72 juveniles and 66 adults, met these criteria. Track 1A offenders were juveniles who had committed two or more SACSI-defined crimes (i.e., aggravated assault, homicide, rape, kidnapping, robbery, sexual offenses, or weapons violations). Track 1B offenders were adults with a history of involving juveniles in violent crime, and Track 2 offenders were juveniles who had been arrested once for a SACSI-defined crime.
Mode of Data Collection: on-site questionnaire, record abstracts
For Part 1, data were obtained from written surveys. For Part 2, the research team obtained arrest records from the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Description of Variables:
Variables in Part 1 were divided into four sections:
- Perceived functioning of the Core Team/Working Group: clarity of the goals, objectives and mission of SACSI to group/team members, and group/team members' understanding and ownership of roles and responsibilities.
- Personal experience of the group/team member: clarity of goals and objectives to the individual, individual sense of ownership of the SACSI program, perceptions of availability of resources to carry out the SACSI program, and personal satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the SACSI program.
- Perceived effectiveness or ineffectiveness of various elements of the SACSI program (e.g., Notification Program, Operation Reach, Streetworker Program, and the Violent Incident Review Team).
- Reactions to suggestions for increasing the scope of the SACSI program.
Variables in Part 2 included notification (status and date), age group, prior record, and 36 variables pertaining to being arrested for or identified as a suspect in nine specific types of crime. Included in Part 2 were arrest variables for nine crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, weapons violations, sex offenses, kidnapping, simple assault, and SACSI-defined "violent" offenses) for the time period both prior to the notification date and following the notification date. An additional 18 variables identified whether the subject was either arrested or listed as a suspect for the same nine crimes, again both before and after the notification date.
Response Rates: Part 1: Not available. Part 2: Not applicable.
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:
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2008-02-28
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