The Center has been actively involved in several Weed and Seed projects in Arizona. The Weed and Seed strategy is a planned response to complex social and community issues. The comprehensive approach that Weed and Seed employs speaks to the underlying philosophy of its design: that the conditions of violence, substance abuse, and other crimes, and the widespread physical and social disorder of disadvantaged neighborhoods, are complex problems that arise and thrive for a myriad of reasons, and a multi-pronged response, using diverse resources, is the only logical solution. The Weed and Seed strategy uses four central components: 1) law enforcement; 2) community policing; 3) prevention, intervention, and treatment; and 4) neighborhood restoration. Weeding activities are carried out by law enforcement agencies and include community policing techniques. The seeding processes are carried out by residents and public and private social service providers, and include prevention, intervention, and treatment programs, and neighborhood restoration projects.
The CVPCS has been engaged in working with four Weed and Seed Communities located in Phoenix (Canyon Corridor), Glendale (Orchard Glen), Maryvale, and Tucson (Kino). CVPCS researchers provided a useful tool for the coalitions to evaluate and assess their site’s needs, successes, and challenges, providing critical guidance in efforts to improve the work they do in their neighborhoods.
At each site, the relevant United States Attorney’s Office plays a leadership role in organizing local officials, community representatives, and other key stakeholders to form a steering committee. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also facilitates coordination of federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts so that sites effectively use federal law enforcement partners in weeding strategies. In some instances, the U.S. Attorney’s Office helps sites mobilize resources from a variety of federal agencies for seeding programs.
Here in the Central District of California, there are three active Weed & Seed sites that are currently receiving grant funding:
The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” violent criminals and drug abusers and public agencies and community-based private organizations collaborate to “seed” much-needed human services, including prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration programs. A community-oriented policing component bridges the weeding and seeding elements.
Weed and Seed, a community-based strategy sponsored by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and overseen by DOJ’s Community Capacity Development Office, is an innovative, comprehensive multiagency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization.
Weed and Seed is foremost a strategy—rather than a grant program—that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in designated high-crime neighborhoods across the country. The more than 250 Weed and Seed sites range in size from several neighborhood blocks to several square miles, with populations ranging from 3,000 to 50,000.