April 2007

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Staff at the National Crime Prevention Council assisted teams from six states as they developed and implemented plans to make prevention the standard approach to reducing crime and substance abuse within their communities. The participating states were:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Oregon

Key Results
The project team reported results by state to RWJF. Highlights included:

  • The Arizona Prevention Resource Center has initiated a prevention-focused Web site and other resources for community-based prevention providers.
  • California, through its multi-agency prevention collaborative entitled Shifting the Focus, developed a set of training and technical assistance materials that agencies and organizations can use in prevention efforts. Available online.
  • Connecticut's Gov. John Rowland signed the Act Concerning Crime Prevention and established a State Prevention Council in August 2001.
  • Iowa allocates funds blended from several federal and state funding sources to communities for prevention efforts.
  • Kentucky developed:
    • A statewide database on crime, violence and substance abuse prevention.
    • A public awareness plan.
    • A campaign to promote statewide support for its Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice Initiative.
  • The Oregon state legislature passed SB 555 in 2000, which called for state agencies and local communities to work in partnership to provide comprehensive, coordinated services to children and families.

Evaluation Findings
The Association for the Study and Development of Community (Gaithersburg, Md.) evaluated the work of the individual states: The evaluation team reported that:

  • The backing of state leadership and strong relationships among state agencies were among the factors that supported efforts to embed prevention in state policy-making.
  • The prestige of participation in a national project, the availability of flexible funding and learning from the experience of other state teams were particular benefits of taking part in the initiative.
  • The national economic downturn was a major challenge to the state embedding teams, as it was difficult to maintain political support in the face of significant state budget cuts.
  • The development of new national public information and media strategies is important to public support for substance abuse prevention at the state level.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the initiative with two grants totaling $770,340.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

Criminal and juvenile justice policies traditionally have addressed crime, violence and substance abuse through law enforcement and apprehension of criminals. Most criminal justice policy-making occurs at the state level, and many states now spend more each year on corrections than on education or health care. State budgets determine most of the funding available to local communities, and state administrators shape the content of local criminal justice programs.

Traditionally, states have sought to direct community efforts at reducing crime and substance abuse through funding priorities that emphasized law enforcement and criminal apprehension. Although law enforcement policies might achieve short-term social benefits, long-term impact requires the prevention of the diverse and complex causes of crime. Funding for prevention lacks strong support at the state level, despite available evidence of effective preventive approaches.

In the 1990s, the National Crime Prevention Council, working with the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, developed an initiative to encourage states to make prevention the preferred policy for reducing crime, violence and substance abuse. The council, a national nonprofit educational organization located in Washington, has 20 years of experience developing and promoting preventive approaches to crime and substance abuse.

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RWJF STRATEGY

At the time this project began, RWJF focused its substance abuse-related grantmaking on prevention programs, both in communities and at the national level. The RWJF national program Fighting Back®, which supported 15 communities in 11 states using a wide range of community-based anti-drug strategies, was one example of this grantmaking (see the Grant Results).

RWJF also supported the community drug prevention work of Join Together (see Grant Results on ID#s 027954 et al.) and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (see Grant Results on ID#s 036494 et al.). However, this project with the National Crime Prevention Council offered an opportunity to have an impact at the state level on the prevention of crime and substance abuse.

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THE PROJECT

Staff at the National Crime Prevention Council launched the five-year Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice Initiative in 2000, before the RWJF grant began. The embedding initiative provided technical assistance to six states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon — as they developed and implemented plans to make prevention the standard approach to reducing crime and substance abuse within their communities.

These plans address policy-making, media relations and social marketing (i.e., the communication of social messages, such as those related to crime prevention, to the public). The states developed their plans through the collaboration of elected officials, criminal justice professionals, substance abuse and mental health agencies, family and social service providers, educators, youth, youth workers, faith and business leaders and other key groups. A National Advisory Group provides project oversight (see Appendix 2 for a list of Advisory Group members).

Project staff selected the six participating states due to the high level of official support for crime and substance abuse prevention that already existed in these states, the state officials' recognition of the need for action, their enthusiasm for differing approaches to crime and substance abuse prevention and their progress on implementing these approaches to date.

Project staff assisted the six states in a variety of ways:

  1. Teams of 5 to 10 individuals from each of the six states convened in a series of six Conference of State Partners meetings to share experiences and develop new ideas. The first, held in November 2000 in Washington, took place prior to RWJF's initial grant. (See the Bibliography for a complete listing of other dates and locations.)
  2. Each state embedding team received a grant of $100,000 to use at its discretion to meet the prevention planning and implementation needs of its state.
  3. Monthly conference calls provided opportunities for expert technical assistance and information sharing among the state teams.
  4. The project's quarterly newsletter, State of Prevention, detailed activities in the states.
  5. Project staff provided each of the six states with Prevention Works, a mini crime-prevention library.
  6. Staff visited each state at least twice in order to build relationships with the embedding team members in the state. They also participated in press conferences, and legislative and executive branch hearings in California, Connecticut and Kentucky.
  7. Staff-provided technical assistance and training included sessions unique to specific states as well as peer-to-peer technical assistance between Connecticut and Oregon.
  8. Staff produced an overview/brochure, Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice, highlighting activities and accomplishments of the six states and describing the work of the National Crime Prevention Council in support of the initiative.
  9. An embedding initiative Web site offers materials on prevention practices and reports on the progress of the embedding initiative.

RWJF supported the project with two grants totaling $770,340. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the initial funding organization, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation also provided significant funding to the project. Three other foundations and the U.S. Department of Justice also supported the embedding initiative. In addition, the William T. Grant Foundation provided funding specifically for the design of the project evaluation. (See Appendix 1 for a list of funders.) The recent downturn in the U.S. economy caused a significant reduction in the expected funding for this project for years three to five.

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EVALUATION

The project team engaged the Association for the Study and Development of Community (Gaithersburg, Md.) to evaluate the work of the individual states. The main purpose of the evaluation was to identify and document the successful methods that the project states and other states can use to embed the prevention of crime and substance abuse in their policy-making. An Evaluation Advisory Group of experts in research, evaluation, criminal justice, prevention, best practices and systems change provided feedback on the evaluation plan. (See Appendix 3 for list of Evaluation Advisory Group members.)

Project staff, the evaluation team and the state embedding teams developed a "logic model" to guide the evaluation. A logic model describes the sequence of steps thought to bring about change in a process. Guided by the logic model, the evaluators prepared case studies of each state's experience. They constructed the case studies through interviews, observation of state activity and reviews of documents and other data sources. The evaluators also analyzed results across states to search for common themes.

Results

The project team reported these results by state to RWJF. (The results were drawn from the case studies created by the evaluation team.) These outcomes may have resulted directly from project funding and/or from other state funding sources.

  • The Arizona Prevention Resource Center has initiated a prevention-focused Web site, an inventory of prevention social indicators (including income, crime levels, after-school resources and school achievement), a social marketing strategy and technical assistance for community-based prevention providers. The resource center also began construction of an online information system that displays social indicators by county and prevention resources by area for Arizona.
  • California, through its multi-agency prevention collaborative entitled Shifting the Focus, developed a set of training and technical assistance materials that agencies and organizations can use in prevention efforts. These and other resources are available online. Shifting the Focus also spearheaded the adoption of a set of "Common Prevention Principles" for use in the development of prevention-related legislation and programs. The California attorney general, the superintendent of education and other state agency directors have adopted these principles.
  • Connecticut's Gov. John Rowland signed the Act Concerning Crime Prevention and established a State Prevention Council in August 2001. The bill mandated a comprehensive prevention plan and increased fiscal accountability on prevention-focused expenditures throughout state government. A proposed 2003 bill requires the council to make specific recommendations for cost-effective research on early intervention strategies to promote the health and well-being of children. Another bill is the first in the nation to address homeland security and the social, physical and emotional needs of children and youth. Connecticut has also made extensive use of media campaigns for public education about prevention.
  • Iowa allocates funds blended from several federal and state funding sources to communities, through its process of "decategorization" (i.e., removing limitations attached to funding). Iowa's prevention system offers a model for planning across systems and assists in efforts to reduce crime and violence in counties throughout the state. An assembly of youth-focused agencies and organizations, the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development, offers training at the community and youth levels for youth development programs that engage youth in preventive activities. The collaboration posts its activities on its Web site.
  • Kentucky directs its prevention efforts toward three goals: (1) developing a statewide database on crime, violence and substance abuse prevention; (2) developing a public awareness plan; and (3) developing a campaign to promote statewide support for the embedding initiative and grow a constituency for prevention. The Kentucky embedding team incorporates key state organizations and has been actively working to meet its goals.
  • The Oregon state legislature passed SB 555 in 2000, which called for state agencies and local communities to work in partnership to provide comprehensive, coordinated services to children and families. Since the bill's passage, each county mapped its prevention-related assets and needs. Five state agencies developed a system of planning, funding and evaluation of prevention activities and blended funding sources to provide financial support for counties' prevention efforts. An annual prevention conference brought together state human services, education and other agencies and county and tribal representatives to plan a broad approach to prevention for the state.

Evaluation Findings

The evaluators reported evaluation findings to the project team at the end of the first and second years. Based on the case studies of each state they created, the evaluators identified factors across states that supported the embedding teams' efforts to secure prevention within state policy-making.

  • Many factors support efforts to embed prevention in state policy-making. These include: the backing of state leadership (i.e., the governor, key legislators and agency leaders), strong relationships among state agencies, a history of state/local collaboration, state experience with crime and violence and access to information on effective and cost-effective prevention strategies.
  • With a second year of experience, two additional facilitating factors emerged. Nongovernmental organizations (including consultants and a state-chartered commission), being seen as independent and less political than state agencies, effectively coordinated the embedding initiative in five of the six states. State teams also reported the importance of picking the right theme (e.g., youth development) for advancing the embedding effort.
  • The state embedding teams identified multiple benefits resulting from participation in the embedding initiative. The prestige of participation in a national project provided credibility to the teams' efforts to promote prevention. The availability of flexible funding to assist the work of the state teams allowed the states to shape their own direction. Learning from the experience of other state teams provided both personal and practical support. The project team's screening of information made a large amount of information accessible to the state teams.
  • A number of challenges affected the state embedding teams. Most notably, the national economic downturn forced significant cuts in every state team's budget. It was difficult to maintain political support for prevention initiatives. Categorical and short-term funding streams from federal and state sources (those with specific limitations on how funds may be spent) created administrative and technical barriers to changes across state systems and to comprehensive prevention efforts. The need for state personnel to develop new knowledge and skills and for resources not allocated in agency budgets posed additional challenges.
  • The evaluators identified the development of new national public information and media strategies as important to public support for prevention at the state level. Engaging the public and statewide organizing to advocate for prevention are greatly underdeveloped elements of states' embedding strategies.

Communications

Project staff distributed proceedings from the six Conference of State Partners meetings to state team members and others within each of the six study states. Distribution was approximately 100 per conference. Proceedings are available at the Web site. See the Bibliography for exact Web addresses.

The National Crime Prevention Council published five issues of the State of Prevention bulletins. The brochure, Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice, provides an overview of the embedding initiative. Staff at the council devoted an issue of its publication Topics in Crime Prevention to the embedding initiative. Catalyst, another council publication, focused on the embedding initiative in its July 2002 issue. The embedding initiative Web site includes the year 1 and 2 evaluation reports, state case studies and other materials. State of Prevention newsletters are on the Web site. (See the Bibliography for details.)

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LESSONS LEARNED

The project director identified a set of lessons learned during the project that can guide further prevention work by states. Key lessons include:

  1. Each state needs to be able to develop its own approach. Each state must focus on a prevention issue that engages its team and fits the particular state politically and socially. (Project Director)
  2. An overarching vision will help limit "turf guarding," i.e., an unwillingness to collaborate and share decision-making. (Project Director)
  3. Concrete benchmarks for changes in state practices and policies or implementation of local efforts can help to make the abstract concept of prevention more real and relevant. (Project Director)
  4. The state system itself must have the capacity to provide ongoing education, networking and professional development. Responsibility and commitment cannot reside only with select individuals and agencies. (Project Director)

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AFTER THE GRANT

RWJF turned down a request for continued funding of the project. The Foundation has shifted its emphasis from projects focusing on substance abuse prevention to those targeting treatment. The project team plans to maintain the project despite the end of RWJF funding, reductions in other project funding and budget cuts at the state level. The project is seeking additional sources of support.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice as the Preferred Policy for Reducing Crime, Violence and Substance Abuse

Grantee

National Crime Prevention Council (Washington,  DC)

  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice
    Amount: $ 420,340
    Dates: April 2001 to March 2002
    ID#:  040444

  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice as the Preferred Policy for Reducing Crime, Violence and Substance Abuse
    Amount: $ 350,000
    Dates: April 2002 to April 2003
    ID#:  043858

Contact

Kimberly J. Dalferes
(202) 261-4173
kdalferes@ncpc.org

Web Site

http://www.ncpc.org

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Project Funders

Florence W. Burden Foundation
New York, N.Y.

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, Md.

William T. Grant Foundation
New York, N.Y.
(For evaluation design only, prior to year 1)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, N.J.

Bureau of Justice Assistance
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

General Mills Foundation
Minneapolis, Minn.

David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Los Altos, Calif.

California Wellness Foundation
Woodland, Calif.


Appendix 2

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

National Advisory Group

Barbara Bradley
Mobilization for America's Children
Alexandria, Va.

Cabel Cropper
National Criminal Justice Association
Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Currier
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, Va.

Steven Dillingham
American Prosecutors Research Institute
Alexandria, Va.

Mary Fairchild
National Conference of State Legislators
Denver, Colo.

Kim Herd
National Association of Attorneys General
Washington, D.C.

Cliff Johnson
National League of Cities
Washington, D.C.

Nolan Jones
National Governors Association
Washington, D.C.

B. Thomas Leahy
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Basking Ridge, N.J.

Thomas MacClellan
National Governors Association
Washington, D.C.

Jay Marshall
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

Bill Modzeleski
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C.

Alan Moghul
National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
Washington, D.C.

Ed O'Connell
National Center for State Courts
Williamsburg, Va.

Marilina Sanz
National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.

Kiersten Stewart
Family Violence Prevention Fund
Washington, D.C.

Carl Wickland
American Probation and Parole Association
Lexington, Ky.

Deborah Witcomb
American Prosecutors Research Institute
Alexandria, Va.


Appendix 3

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Evaluation Advisory Group

J. Lawrence Aber
Columbia University School of Public Health
New York, N.Y.

Joanna Birckmayer
Association for the Study and Development of Community
Gaithersburg, Md.

David Chavis
Association for the Study and Development of Community
Gaithersburg, Md.

Terry Dunworth
Abt Associates, Inc.
Cambridge, Mass.

Cornelius Hogan
Plainfield, Vt.

George Kelling
School of Criminal Justice
Rutgers University
Newark, N.J.

Jane Knitzer
National Center for Children in Poverty
New York, N.Y.

Jack H. Knott
University of Illinois
Urbana, Ill.

Thomas MacClellan
National Governors Association
Washington, D.C.

Martin Orland
Department of Education
Washington, D.C.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Reports

Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: First Annual Evaluation Report, Volume 1. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.

  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Arizona Case Study (Year 1). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: California Case Study (Year 1). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Connecticut Case Study (Year 1). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Iowa Case Study (Year 1). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Kentucky Case Study (Year 1). National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Oregon Case Study (Year 1). Washington: Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.

Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Second Annual Evaluation Report, Volume 1. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.

  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Arizona Case Study (Year 2). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: California Case Study (Year 2). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Connecticut Case Study (Year 2). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Iowa Case Study (Year 2). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Kentucky Case Study (Year 2). National Crime Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.
  • Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice: Oregon Case Study (Year 2). Washington: Prevention Council, 2003. Also appears online.

Embedding Prevention in State Policy and Practice (Overview Brochure). Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2002. Also appears online.

Prevention Works: State and Local Action Kit. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2001.

State of Prevention, Volume 1, Issue 1. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, April 2001. Also appears online.

State of Prevention, Volume 1, Issue 2. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, Summer, 2001. Also appears online.

State of Prevention, Volume 1, Issue 3. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, Fall/Winter 2001–2002. Also appears online.

State of Prevention, Volume 1, Issue 4. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, Spring/Summer 2002. Also appears online.

State of Prevention, Volume 1, Issue 5. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, Spring 2003. Also appears online.

Topics in Crime Prevention. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, Fall 2003.

World Wide Web Sites

www.ncpc.org. "Embedding Crime Prevention in State Policy and Practice", on the National Crime Prevention Council Web site includes overview information, evaluation reports, newsletters and other prevention material. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council.

Sponsored Conferences

"Second Conference of State Partners," April 26–28, 2001, Portland, OR. Attended by 59 participants representing state agencies from the six state partners (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon), funding organizations, the National Crime Prevention Council and the evaluation team from the Association for the Study and Development of Community. State reports, four workshops, state team meetings, general discussion. Proceedings available online.

"Third Conference of State Partners," October 28–30, 2001, Washington. Attended by 53 participants representing state agencies from the six state partners (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon), funding organizations, the National Crime Prevention Council and the evaluation team from the Association for the Study and Development of Community. Two plenary panels, state reports, two cross-state team discussion groups. Proceedings available online.

"Fourth Conference of State Partners," April 14–16, 2002, Phoenix. Attended by participants representing state agencies from the six state partners (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon), funding organizations, the National Crime Prevention Council and the evaluation team from the Association for the Study and Development of Community. Three presentations, one panel presentation, state reports and evaluation update. Proceedings available online.

"Fifth Conference of State Partners," October 2022, 2002, Groton, CT. Attended by 70 participants representing state agencies from the six state partners (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon), Canadian and British crime prevention organizations, the National Crime Prevention Council and evaluators from the Association for the Study and Development of Community. Three presentations, three panel presentations, state reports and evaluation update. Proceedings available online.

"Sixth Conference of State Partners," April 13–15, 2003, Harrodsburg, KY. Attended by 36 participants representing state agencies from the six state partners (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Oregon), the National Crime Prevention Council and evaluators from the Association for the Study and Development of Community. One presentation, one panel presentation, state reports, two state-to-state discussion groups and evaluation update. Proceedings not yet available online as of January 2004.

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Report prepared by: Mary B. Geisz
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Floyd Morris

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