A Community-Based, Focused-Deterrence Approach to Closing Overt Drug Markets

A Process and Fidelity Evaluation of Seven Sites

by Jessica Saunders, Allison J. Ober, Beau Kilmer, Sarah Michal Greathouse

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

Does not include Appendix G.

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix G

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Research Questions

  1. How were the seven strategies implemented?
  2. How closely did each site adhere to the Bureau of Justice Assistance training model?
  3. How many of the sites fully implemented the strategy?

Overt drug markets are often associated with violence and property crime, as well as lower quality of life for nearby residents. Despite the considerable strain these markets can place on communities, efforts to close them can disrupt the delicate relationship between those who live in these communities and the criminal justice agencies charged with protecting them. In 2010, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded Michigan State University (MSU) to train a cohort of seven jurisdictions to implement a community-based strategy that uses focused deterrence, community engagement, and incapacitation to reduce the crime and disorder associated with overt drug markets. The strategy was inspired by the High Point Drug Market Intervention and RAND was selected by the National Institute of Justice to evaluate these efforts. This process evaluation describes how well the seven sites adhered to the BJA model they were exposed to during the trainings, the barriers they encountered, and lessons learned from their experiences.

Key Findings

Successful Implementation Requires Strong Support from Law Enforcement and Prosecutors

  • Three sites did not make it to the call-in phase, with the common theme a lack of support at the highest levels of police departments or prosecutor's offices or the loss of initial support from leaders at these key agencies over time.
  • An initial commitment that is not sustained, or lack of strong commitment from one of these entities, may impede full implementation of the strategy.

Team Members Should Have a Good Understanding of the Strategy Before Beginning the Process

  • A full understanding of the strategy from the outset will prevent avoidable missteps and will likely improve fidelity to the model.

Team Turnover Should Be Expected and Addressed in Advance

  • Most of the teams experienced some turnover in the core membership, and in some cases, this put an end to the intervention.
  • Several team members mentioned that it was important to have multiple people from each sector familiar with the project in case someone changes positions.

If Sites Plan to Track Dealers, an Action Plan Should Be Developed Prior to the Call-In

  • Some sites did not develop specific systems for tracking A-listers and B-listers, either from the outset or at all. This information is important for understanding the causal mechanisms underlying observed changes, keeping track of program costs, and successfully delivering on the deterrence message.
  • Some sites were not able to keep careful track of whether B-listers were complying with the terms of program, and some lacked specific requirements for B-lister participation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Motivation for and Theoretical Underpinnings of the DMI

  • Chapter Three

    Approach Used in this Process Evaluation

  • Chapter Four

    Process Evaluation, Phase I: Planning for the Intervention

  • Chapter Five

    Process Evaluation, Phase II: Targeting the Drug Market

  • Chapter Six

    Process Evaluation, Phase III: Working with the Community

  • Chapter Seven

    Process Evaluation, Phase IV: Preparing for the Call-In

  • Chapter Eight

    Process Evaluation, Phase V: After the Call-In

  • Chapter Nine

    Discussion of Process Evaluation Findings and Implementation Lessons Learned

  • Appendix A

    Ratio of A-Listers to B-Listers

  • Appendix B

    A-Lister Sentences

  • Appendix C

    Process Evaluation Forms

  • Appendix D

    Semistructured Interview with Team Members

  • Appendix E

    Roanoke Redacted Offender Notification Letter

  • Appendix F

    Roanoke Life College Agenda

The research reported here was conducted in the RAND Justice Policy Program, a part of RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.