National Weed and Seed Program — U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Weed and Seed
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Weed and Seed program was developed to demonstrate an innovative and comprehensive approach to law enforcement and community revitalization, and to prevent and control violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in target areas. The program, initiated in 1991, attempts to weed out violent crime, gang activity, and drug use and trafficking in target areas, and then seed the target area by restoring the neighborhood through social and economic revitalization. Weed and Seed has three objectives: (1) develop a comprehensive, multiagency strategy to control and prevent violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in target neighborhoods; (2) coordinate and integrate existing and new initiatives to concentrate resources and maximize their impact on reducing and preventing violent crime, drug trafficking, and gang activity; and (3) mobilize community residents in the target areas to assist law enforcement in identifying and removing violent offenders and drug traffickers from the community and to assist other human service agencies in identifying and responding to service needs of the target area. To achieve these goals, Weed and Seed integrates law enforcement, community policing, prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration efforts. The Weed and Seed program is being implemented in more than 150 communities across the country.
The Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) within the Office of Justice Programs is responsible for overall program policy, coordination, and development. EOWS also serves to enhance the law enforcement and prosecution coordination among Federal, State, and local agencies, and coordinates with other cooperating programs and agencies such as Ameri-Corps, Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, and the Comprehensive Communities Program.
Operation Weed and Seed was the Department of Justice´s innovative and comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization.
Operation Weed and Seed was a coordinated effort that worked to make a wide range of public resources more accessible to communities. The City of Brockton, in cooperation with the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office, the Brockton Police Department, the U.S. Attorney´s Office, and Brockton business owners and residents initiated Weed and Seed in August 1999 to address crime and safety in Brockton´s downtown area.
From 1998-2010, The Brockton Weed and Seed received official recognition for its Downtown target area. For twelve years, law enforcement, social service agencies and residents partnered to effectively reduce crime in some of the city´s toughest neighborhoods. In 2004, the Department of Justice awarded Brockton recognition for a new site. The new target area, referred to as the Campello site, encompassed Main Street, portions of the City´s Campello section and an area around Crescent Court.
Weed and Seed linked all aspects of the Brockton community in the shared goal of weeding out violent crime and disorder while seeding the target area with social services and economic revitalization. It included four basic elements: law enforcement, community policing, prevention/intervention/treatment, and neighborhood restoration.
It was foremost a strategy–rather than a grant program– it aimed to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in designated high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Weed and Seed sites ranged in size from several neighborhood blocks to several square miles.