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weed and seed community definition

Within the Northern District of California there have been a number of designated Weed and Seed sites over the past 15 years. In the past several years there have been the following designations: Salinas, East Oakland, San Francisco and two in San Jose. West Oakland has been a graduated site for several years. Each of the sites has unique characteristics which create special challenges. At each site, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has played an important role in working with the steering committee and in bringing together the participants on both the “weeding” and “seeding” sides of the program. Most of the programs have run their individual five year program funding cycles, but continue to meet and work on Weed and Seed issues in the community.

Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice community-based program whose goal is to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods throughout the country. Weed and Seed strategy follows a two-pronged approach: local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding” out criminals who engage in violent crimes and drug abuse, and “seeding” brings to the area human services encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. A community-oriented policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies: officers obtain cooperation and information from area residents while they assist residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and resources.

As part of the upcoming fiscal year budget, the Weed & Seed program had ended. Funding for new Weed & Seed sites will no longer be available. However, these types of programs may still be available through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI). This initiative was not funded in the FY 2011 final continuing resolution. However, BCJI was included in the President’s proposed FY2012 budget and is pending before Congress. For questions about this source of grant funding please consult the Weed & Seed website FAQ section.

A variety of funding opportunities for law enforcement and other programs are listed on the Office of Justice Programs website.

You just have to understand that in many cases, their workload is outrageous. But as an organized neighborhood, you can help them prioritize their efforts.

Faith-based communities are natural allies, as are any social services agencies also active in the area. If you’re in a metropolitan area, attempt to convince local foundations that the intervention and treatment aspects of the program will benefit an area wider than simply your neighborhood.

Some Observations about This Community Drug Program

As people who have work on urban issues know, criminals often simply move around seeking the most vulnerable communities. So design a durable and flexible program, adjusting and updating the advisory committee frequently.

Results will take time. The Weed and Seed program was a five-year program, after which sites “graduated” but still received a reduced level of help.

You can still set up a steering committee of appropriate officials and leaders representing various levels and types of law enforcement, private social service providers, and neighborhood leaders.