The Drug Market Intervention (DMI) eliminates overt drug markets by bringing together community leaders, law enforcement, and service providers with street-level drug dealers and their families to make it clear that the dealing must stop.
The Drug Market Intervention (DMI) is an effective approach for eliminating “overt” drug markets and improving life for residents of the surrounding communities. Overt drug markets operate in public, whether indoors or outdoors, and make it possible for non-community members to enter and buy drugs without knowing anybody. They are chaotic, violent, and do enormous damage to the community.
DMI, which was first piloted in 2004 in High Point, North Carolina, identifies particular drug markets, identifies street-level dealers, arrests violent offenders, creates "banked" cases - or suspends prosecution - for nonviolent dealers, and brings together drug dealers, their families, law enforcement officials, service providers, and community leaders for a call-in meeting that makes clear that selling drugs openly must stop. The strategy also includes a critical process of racial reconciliation to address historical conflict between law enforcement and communities of color.
Since 2004, dozens of cities around the country have implemented the DMI strategy. In many of these cities, the targeted drug markets have closed, and there have been large reductions in violent and drug-related crime. Cities have attained these outcomes in a way that minimizes the use of law enforcement, gains powerful endorsement from the community, and maximizes the chances that dealers will be rehabilitated. Most important, in many sites the strategy has resulted in a fundamentally new understanding and relationship between law enforcement and the affected community.
The National Network produced Drug Market Intervention: An Implementation Guide, to be published by COPS Office in 2014, to provide a practical tool for stakeholders seeking to implement DMI in their jurisdictions.
This publication sets out the compelling story of High Point’s original Drug Market Intervention work and describes how the intervention was successfully duplicated in Providence, Rhode Island.
A 9-step outline of the fundamental work and partnerships involved in the strategy.
Since pioneering the Drug Market Intervention in 2004, the city of High Point, NC has developed a protocol to ensure that the five street drug markets it successfully shut down stay closed. This paper summarizes the key componentens of its maintenance protocol.
The norms and narratives held by offenders and potential offenders; communities; and law enforcement have tremendous impact on crime and crime prevention, how each party views the others, and their actions; and their willingness to work together. This paper addresses the practical aspects of addressing and even changing norms and narratives in crime prevention.
This paper briefly reviews the research on the crime control effectiveness of "pulling levers" focused deterrence programs. Focused deterrence strategies honor core deterrence ideas, such as increasing risks faced by offenders, while finding new and creative ways of deploying traditional and non-traditional law enforcement tools to do so, such as communicating incentives and disincentives directly to targeted offenders.
These evaluation designs permit the clearest assessment of “cause and effect” in determining whether hot spots policing programs prevent crime. These designs examine pre- and post-program measurement of crime outcomes in targeted locations relative to “control” locations. The control groups in the identified hot spots evaluations received routine levels of traditional police enforcement tactics. The deterrence message was a promise to gang members that violent behavior would evoke an immediate and intense response from law enforcement.
Best, M (2009) Model Police Work. UNCG Research, (7) 8-15
Corsaro, N., Hunt, E.D., Kroovand Hipple, N., McGarrell, E. (2012). The Impact of Drug Market Pulling Levers Policing on Neighborhood Violence. Criminology & Public Policy. Vol. 11, Issue 2.
Corsaro, N., Brunson, R.K., McGarrell, E.F. (2009). Problem-Oriented Policing and Open-Air Drug Markets: Examining the Rockford Pulling Levers Deterrence Strategy. Crime & Delinquency
Corsaro, N., McGarrell, E.F. (2009). An Evaluation of the Nashville Drug Market Initiative (DMI) Pulling Levers Strategy. Drug Market Intervention Working Paper. East Lansing, MA: Michigan State University
Hipple, N.K., Corsaro, N., McGarrell, E. F (2010). The High Point Drug Market Initiative: A Process and Impact Assessment. East Lansing, MA: Michigan State University
Kennedy, D. M. (2009, March). Drugs, Race and Common Ground: Reflections on the High Point Intervention.National Institute of Justice Journal, No. 262.
Kennedy, D.M. (2008). Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction. NY: Routledge - Chapter 9
McGarrell, E. F., Corsaro, N., Brunson, R..K. (2010). The Drug Market Intervention Approach to Overt Drug Markets. VARSTVOSLOVJE, Journal of Criminal Justice and Security. Year 12 No. 4. pp. 397-407
Meares, T. L.(2009). The Legitimacy of Police Among Young African-American Men. Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 528.
reduction in Part 1 UCR crime in 3 out of 4 DMI neighborhoods
reduction in drug offenses in all 4 neighborhoods
reduction in non-violent offenses
reduction in drug offenses
Don't Shoot in Peoria held it's sixth call-in with group members, and the dedicated community members involved in the strategy believe the message is getting across.
A heroin dealer from Charleston, SC engaged by the city's DMI partnership faces swift consequences when he continues to sell drugs in the overt market in nearby Huntington, WV.
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles is pursuing a bold new approach to the “war on drugs” in South Carolina.
A few years ago, High Point had one of the highest violent crime rates in the state. In 2004, the city reconfigured a plan called Operation Ceasefire to fit it's drug market intervention strategy and saw dramatic results, including a 64 percent decrease in violent crime. NPR's Celeste Headlee interviews Chief of Police Marty Sumner about how High Point is now expanding the plan to include strategies that deal with robberies and domestic violence, how they're helping other similarly sized cities as well as larger cities like Chicago deal with violent crime.
The Drug Market Intervention project in action
David Kennedy shares the surprising (and surprisingly kind) methods he uses to stem inner-city crime.