Methods: To evaluate barriers and facilitators of addressing community violence (aim 1), interviews, focus groups, and visioning sessions were conducted with law enforcement, community members, and other community partners. To assess the nature and scope of safety and health issues (aim 2), crime incident data was examined and triangulated with systematic street observations at identified chronic crime hotspots. We then conducted a systematic review of existing crime/violence prevention programs (aim 3) to identify interventions responsive to crime issues. Finally, collaborative intervention workshops with community members, law enforcement, and other stakeholders examined intervention strategies and assessed appropriateness, feasibility, and sustainability (aims 4 and 5).
Results: Results of interviews, focus groups, visioning sessions, crime analysis/mapping, and direct hotspot observations led to five key findings: (1) existence of an open-air drug market, (2) the high-stress nature of the Thrive community, (3) lack of opportunities for youth, (4) lack of resident trust in police officers, and (5) challenges with the built environment.
Conclusions and Implications: Results of the community assessment led to the selection of several strategies to address identified issues: a drug-market intervention, the Community Resiliency Model, the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) program, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, and a community-developed program to build police/community trust. The community based participatory research approach led to a holistic, in-depth assessment of the social drivers of crime and violence in the community. Strong community partnerships throughout the planning and assessment process led to implementation strategies that were selected (and, in some cases, developed) by the community, which promotes community buy-in and sustainability. The THRIVE in the 05 assessment and planning process suggests the utility of community based participatory research and implementation science for sustainable community change. Challenges and opportunities associated with the participatory approach to the planning and assessment process are discussed.