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Communications Toolkit--Telling Your Weed & Seed Story Office of Justice Programs Seal Community Capacity Development Office Office of Justice Programs
Tools of the Trade

Fact Sheet

Organization: (Insert Weed and Seed community name)

Affiliation: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Weed and Seed initiative is a component of the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO).

Mission: Weed and Seed 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 throughout the country.

Approach: The Weed and Seed 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 in" much-needed human services, including prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration programs. A community-oriented policing component bridges the weeding and seeding elements.

Location: In addition to (Insert Weed and Seed community name), more than 300 Weed and Seed sites are active nationwide. Use the Weed and Seed Site Directory to locate other Weed and Seed communities.

Web site: (Insert Weed and Seed Web site URL)

Contact: (Insert contact name, title, and phone number)

Q:

What is Weed and Seed?

A:

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 targeted high-crime neighborhoods throughout the country. Weed and Seed sites range in size from several neighborhood blocks to 15 square miles.

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Q:

How does Weed and Seed work?

A:

The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out" criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area. "Seeding" brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.

A community-orientated policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies. Officers obtain helpful information from area residents for weeding efforts while they aid residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and seeding resources.

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Q:

How can I be a part of Weed and Seed?

A:

See if there is a Weed and Seed site in your community by checking the Weed and Seed Site Directory. If you are not currently a Weed and Seed site but think that your neighborhood has a serious crime problem that requires a broad-based, comprehensive response, contact the mayor's office or local law enforcement agency to explore the possibilities. In addition, the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO), which serves as the lead contact for Weed and Seed activities, will help you apply for funds and will assist you in selecting, convening, and serving on a Steering Committee. The USAO's law enforcement coordinator can assist you with determining if your community is a potential site.

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Q:

How do I get funding from Weed and Seed?

A:

Weed and Seed is a strategy rather than a grant program. Interested communities are eligible to apply for funding from CCDO, based on availability of funds that are awarded on a competitive basis. For more details, see CCDO Funding. Promoting the long-term health and resilience of the community, however, is the true goal of Weed and Seed, so sustainability without federal funds must be a key part of a site's structure.

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Q:

What is the role of the Steering Committee?

A:

The Steering Committee completes initial development steps, oversees and manages program goals and objectives, coordinates the activities of Weed and Seed subcommittees, implements a coordinated law enforcement and neighborhood restoration plan, approves program changes, documents program activity, and evaluates the overall program.

The Steering Committee may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • U.S. Attorney.
  • Mayor.
  • Chief of police.
  • Nonprofit leaders.
  • Regional leaders of federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services, Small Business Administration).
  • Private business owners.
  • Residents (including youth and the elderly).
  • Faith-based representatives.
  • District prosecutor.
  • Representatives from city agencies (e.g., housing, code enforcement, Department of Recreation).
  • Union representatives.
  • Corporations operating in the target area.
  • School administrators, teachers, and the superintendent.
  • Law enforcement coordinator from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
  • Military community outreach staff.

The U.S. Attorney, who should initially convene this core group of local officials, must work closely with city, state, and federal officials, as well as members of the community and the private sector, to accomplish the program's goals. The responsibility for developing the strategy rests with the Steering Committee. At its discretion, the Steering Committee may designate a local or state agency or official such as a city manager to be in charge of the program's daily operations.

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Q:

How do I get in touch with the right contact person at CCDO?

A:

CCDO program managers are responsible for Weed and Seed sites in specific states. To review the list of program managers, visit Contact CCDO.

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Q:

What is a graduated site?

A:

A graduated site is one that has completed its years of funding and maintains an organizational structure that continues to work on the strategic plan for the site, including weeding and seeding efforts. Graduated sites continue to develop, coordinate, and deliver services that enhance the quality of life and improve public safety. As part of a sustainability plan, resources continue to be committed to the site strategy even though federal funding has ended. Once graduated, a site may no longer apply for funding through CCDO. If a community wants to reapply as a Weed and Seed community, they may do so, but only in a new neighborhood that cannot overlap with any parts of the graduated site.

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Q:

How can I promote my Weed and Seed strategy in my community?

A:

Community involvement is essential to the success of a Weed and Seed site. Getting residents and grassroots faith-based and community organizations involved from the very beginning is essential. A number of tools are available to assist sites in communicating effectively and in mobilizing the community. For more information, see Promoting the Weed and Seed Strategy.

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Q:

How do I get a Weed and Seed logo?

A:

Only Weed and Seed communities may use the Weed and Seed logo. To download the logo, visit the Weed and Seed section of this site.

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Q:

What evaluations are there of Weed and Seed?

A:

Individual Weed and Seed sites track their progress on a regular basis. A national Weed and Seed evaluation, which looked at eight sites in detail, was completed in 1999. The results of that evaluation can be found by visiting the Publications section. In addition, the Justice Research and Statistics Association tracks site outcomes and overall program performance through the Weed and Seed Data Center.

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