Weed and Seed Program
The crime trend has continuously increased over the past decades. The increase of crimes and the higher percentage of individuals entering the Criminal Justice System has made the Federal Government to take actions in the issue. The Federal Government has implemented several strategies and programs to help citizens stay away from the Criminal Justice System and to prevent those who have been in the system from reoffending. Programs have target high crime communities and neighborhoods to reduce the high percentage of crimes committed. Providing the community with crime prevention programs and neighborhood restoration actions has caused a positive …show more content…
The strategy of the program consist of two parts. First, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate and work to “weed out” individuals who are responsible for the majority of crimes in the neighborhood. The program attempts to prevent the return of criminals to the targeted are by incarcerating them. After removing the criminal of the targeted area the next step is “seeding” which provides the area with services such as encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment and neighborhood restoration programs (Perez & Roberts, 2015). The Weed and Seed program was first implemented in Kansas City, Missouri, Trenton, New Jersey, and Omaha, Nebraska were crime was abundant in certain areas. According to Dunworth and Mills (1999) the program aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crimes, drug related crimes, and gang activity in high-crime areas. In fact one of the main goals of the program was to create a safer environment for individuals who live in high crime neighborhoods in order for them to live, work, and raise their families without fear of being victims of a crime. This type of programs produce several benefits for the participants by maintaining kids away from drugs, intervene with youths who are involved in gangs, and develops a better life style in neighborhoods that are high in crime. Moreover, the Weed and Seed benefit the residents of the neighborhood by …show more content…
This author believes that every city should have a similar program to target the areas with higher percent of crimes. Targeting specific areas will help the crime percentage decrease while at the same time produce security for citizens. Residents of the area should not live with fear of becoming victims of crimes, and the only way to accomplish it is with the help of the police. Providing services like the ones that the Weed and Seed Program provides would help all high-crime areas to become safer environments. Removing most criminals from the street will help other individuals to recognize that criminal activity is bad. This type of programs will create more low-crime neighborhoods and help more individuals avoid entering the Criminal Justice System.
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.
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.
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.
A variety of funding opportunities for law enforcement and other programs are listed on the Office of Justice Programs website.