III. Title V in Action: From Theory to Practice

As a comprehensive program designed to achieve sustained community change in response to complex problems, the Title V Community Prevention Grants Program does not promote easy, quick-fix solutions. In fact, States and communities repeatedly report that following the theoretical, research-based framework is hard work. States and their grantees encounter challenges as they learn new ways of "doing business" and also navigate practical constraints. Nevertheless, participants who stay the course find that the positive results are well worth the effort.

This Chapter traces the experiences of States and communities as they have moved from theory to practice in the following five key areas of the research-based Community Prevention Grants Program framework:

  • Mobilizing communities to adopt comprehensive and multidisciplinary delinquency prevention approaches.

  • Conducting diagnostic community assessments.

  • Developing and implementing community-specific prevention plans that address priority risk factors, enhance protective factors, and reflect local conditions and available resources.

  • Leveraging existing resources and systems to build comprehensive and sustainable delinquency prevention strategies.

  • Monitoring short-term program outcomes, long-term changes in risk factors, and rates of juvenile delinquency in the community.

The sections that follow discuss various challenges and obstacles encountered by grantees in each of these areas, as well as selected State and local strategies that have helped communities to overcome them. Also presented are some of the innovative approaches that have been used to implement the Community Prevention Grants Program, reflecting both the local flexibility of the program and the strong commitment among many States and communities to doing what is necessary to build environments that promote strong families and healthy, law-abiding youth.

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1998 Report to Congress: Title V Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs OJJDP Report