Numerous PSN resources have been developed since its inception in 2001.  For assistance with searching or acquisition of a specific document or information on a defined topic or strategy, contact Heather Perez,


Sustaining Your PSN Initiative

Sustaining Your PSN Initiative's webinar addresses this issue – how do we sustain our PSN team, our PSN strategies, and the lessons we learn in PSN beyond the grant end date? We started thinking about this topic as we developed training to support effective implementation of PSN. The good news is that many of the same steps that lead to effective implementation are also key steps in sustaining your initiative over time. This is the focus of the Sustaining Your PSN Initiative webinar.

Analyzing Violent Crime Problems (version 2.0): presented by Julie Wartell

Julie Wartell has spent 25 years working with local, state and federal criminal justice agencies and communities around crime analysis, research and prevention. This includes as a crime analyst for police and prosecution agencies, managing a regional crime mapping initiative, conducting research and evaluation for non-profit organizations, as a National Institute of Justice fellow, and as an independent advisor. Julie has performed a wide range of research and analysis of crime problems, conducted studies of police and prosecutor processes, and assessed criminal justice information technologies. Julie has conducted extensive training and presentations to officers, prosecutors, analysts and community internationally on topics relating to crime analysis, problem solving and policing. She has edited or authored numerous publications and currently teaches at the University of California–San Diego. Julie has a master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Criminology and Police Management from University of Cambridge.

The Power of Invisible Threads

Did you know that the food choices of the people sitting near you in a restaurant can affect how much you eat? Or that if your neighbor’s friend -- a complete stranger to you -- volunteers, you are more likely to do the same? In this TEDx talk, Dr. Tracey Rizzuto discusses social network theory and gives an example of how we can harness the power of these invisible threads to make safer and stronger communities, even when the odds are stacked against us. DR. TRACEY RIZZUTO knows how to use her resources wisely. After receiving her Ph.D. from Penn State University, she continued her passion for connecting people and organizations to human resource development tools that aren’t readily available to them. Tracey helps provide members of the Baton Rouge community with the technological resources it needs to analyze and combat problems like violence, economic development, and natural disasters. She uses social network analysis to aid the successful BATON ROUGE AREA VIOLENCE ELIMINATION (BRAVE) program, to build organizational collaborations through the CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE and has taken an active role in studying workplace disasters through her work with the Katrina Aid and Relief Effort. Through these organizations, Tracey helps people find a way to connect their professional, research-oriented experience with community support services. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

The Power of Invisible Threads | Tracey Rizzuto | TEDxLSU

PSN Case Study 1: Gun Prosecution Case Screening

This is a case study about gun prosecution case screening. Gun prosecution case screening is a vehicle for finding the best venues for gun case prosecution.

PSN Case Study 2: Offender Notification Meetings

This is a case study about offender notification meetings. Offender notification meetings extend the concept of focused deterrence through direct face-to-face communication with high risk individuals in an attempt to deter these individuals from future acts of violence.

PSN Case Study 3: Crime Incident Reviews

This is a case study about crime incident reviews. Crime incident reviews provide one way of sharing information about specific crime types, most often homicide, in the local criminal justice system and using that information to develop strategic approaches to reducing crime.

PSN Case Study 4: Chronic Violent Offender Lists

This is a case study about chronic violent offender lists. Chronic violent offender lists involve focusing efforts and resources through the identification of individuals who are the more violent gun offenders and developing strategies in response to these individuals.

PSN Case Study 5: Middle District of Alabama

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the Middle District of Alabama implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. Gun prosecution case screening which led to increased federal prosecution of gun crimes coupled with a strong deterrence media message using billboards, posters and radio and television advertisements were key components of their strategy.

PSN Case Study 6: Lowell, District of Massachusetts

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the PSN Task Force operating in Lowell, Massachusetts implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. An incapacitation strategy focused on a relatively small number of the most serious, chronic gun crime offenders as well as a focused deterrence strategy geared toward youth gang members were key components of their strategy.

PSN Case Study 7: Eastern District of Missouri

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the Eastern District of Missouri implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. Increased federal prosecution of gun crime cases along with targeted enforcement in focus neighborhoods, gun case prosecution review, a most violent offender program and probation notification meetings were key components of their strategy.

PSN Case Study 8: Strategic Problem-Solving Responses to Gang Crime and Gang Problems

The case study presents information on trends in youth firearm violence and its connection to gangs and drugs, as well as research findings on gang prevalence. The case study then reviews a series of anti-gang intervention strategies that emerged during the 1980s and 1990s. The second half of the case study focuses on a number of promising practices that have emerged as PSN task forces have analyzed gang problems, designed gang interventions, and implemented those strategies so that PSN task forces can learn from one another.

PSN Case Study 9: District of Nebraska

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the District of Nebraska implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. The PSN working group in Omaha utilized a number of interventions including incident reviews, joint gun crime prosecution case screening, increased federal prosecution of gun crime offenders, firearms tracing, targeted enforcement, and notification meetings with juveniles.

PSN Case Study 10: Southern District of Alabama

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the Southern District of Alabama implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. Increased federal prosecution along with a media campaign communicating a deterrence message were key components of their strategy.

PSN Case Study 11: Middle District of North Carolina

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the Middle District of North Caroline implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods. A “lever pulling” strategy, offender notification meetings, along with a significant increase in federal gun crime prosecutions through gun case prosecution review were key components of their strategy.

PSN Case Study 12: The West End Drug Market Initiative

This case study gives an in-depth look at how the High Point [North Carolina] Police Department gained attention from the U.S. Department of Justice and police departments, prosecutors, and local governmental officials through a strategic problem solving intervention that has come to be known as the High Point Drug Market Intervention Program (DMI). The DMI seeks to focus on geographically-defined open-air drug market locations and eliminate overt drug markets and corresponding levels of violence.

PSN Case Study 13: Promising Strategies for Violence Reduction: Lessons from Two Decades of Innovation

This case study gives an in-depth look at violent gang and gun crime reduction evidence-based practices that local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies, criminal justice partners, community-based organizations, social service providers, governmental officials, and citizens can consider for possible implementation in their communities.

Summary of PSN Research Findings:

The School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University (MSU) has provided research-based training and technical assistance to PSN task forces as well as having conducted evaluation research of the overall initiative, a series of case studies, and of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI). MSU's research indicate that PSN's targeted and focused approach to reducing violent crime has been associated with reduced levels of violence. The greatest impact has been observed in those jurisdictions with greater levels of implementation intensity and fidelity.

PSN Final Report:

The School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University served as the national research partner and evaluator for Project Safe Neighborhoods. This report presents findings on the development and implementation of the five key PSN components (partnerships, strategic planning and research integration, training, outreach, and accountability). Additionally, the report presents research findings on the impact of PSN on gun crime at the local level

PSN Final Report Summary

This is a one page brief summary of the PSN Final Report

CAGI Final Report:

The School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University served as the process and outcome evaluation of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. The report presents the findings from the 12 CAGI sites.

The Need for a Drug Market Intervention

Open-air drug markets and drug enforcement have exacted a heavy toll on poor and minority neighborhoods. Drug markets reflect and exacerbate breakdown in community social control characterized by disorder, crime, and fear of crime. As drug dealers exert control over public space, residents withdraw. At the same time, four decades of drug enforcement have resulted in cycles of enforcement from which large numbers of young dealers are incarcerated only to be replaced by a new group of young people drawn to the economic rewards of drug sales. The reality that the sellers involved in open-air drug markets, who comprise the majority of incarcerated drug offenders, are disproportionately people of color, whereas the buyers are often white and non-local, is also a source of conflict and suspicion between law enforcement and residents of these neighborhoods. The Drug Market Intervention (DMI) represents a “new way” of dealing with open-air drug markets.

A collaboration of partners in High Point, North Carolina first developed and implemented the model in 2004. Efforts were applied to five communities in High Point. Since then, in excess of 40 communities, of varying sizes, have implemented the model.  



What is the Drug Market Intervention?

DMI is a strategic problem-solving initiative aimed at permanently closing down open-air drug markets and the associated crime, violence, and disorder that has proven challenging for communities and law enforcement for decades. The strategy targets individual geographic-based drug markets using a focused deterrence approach, specifically targeting drug dealers in those areas. The most violent offenders are targeted and prosecuted to demonstrate what will happen if one persists selling drugs and committing serious crimes in the area. The strategy then stages an intervention with the low level offenders, their families/influentials, and community members. Law enforcement mobilizes community residents, leaders, and family members of low-level drug dealers to voice their intolerance for this criminal behavior and to create opportunity and support for these offenders in changing their behavior. With their backing, offenders are given no choice but to stop dealing drugs or face the maximum penalties allowed. This ultimatum is coupled with support in the manner of access to services such as job training, housing, transportation, and health care.

There are four interlaced goals of the DMI:

  1. Eliminate open-air drug markets
  2. Return the neighborhood to the residents
  3. Reduce crime and disorder
  4. Improve the public’s safety as well as their quality of life

After more than 10 years of implementation experience, the High Point Drug Market Intervention has been recognized as an “Effective Program”.