The Drug Market Intervention (DMI) effectively eliminates overt drug markets and improves life for residents of the surrounding communities. Overt drug markets operate in public, causing chaos, violence, and enormous damage to communities. DMI was first piloted in 2004 in High Point, NC. The strategy identifies particular drug markets, identifies street-level dealers, and arrests people committing violent acts. Law enforcement develops prosecutable drug cases for nonviolent dealers but suspends these unless a person continues illegally selling drugs. This allows law enforcement to put people selling drugs on notice that any future dealing will result in certain, immediate sanctions. The DMI partnership brings together people selling drugs, their families, law enforcement, social service providers, and community leaders for a call-in meeting that makes clear that selling drugs openly must stop and the market is closed. The partnership tells people selling drugs clearly and directly that the community cares about them but rejects their behavior, that help is available, and that continued dealing will result in immediate sanctions through the activation of existing cases. Dozens of cities have implemented DMI with reductions in violent and drug-related crime, minimized use of law enforcement, strong endorsement from the community, and improved relationships between law enforcement and residents.
The National Network produced Drug Market Intervention: An Implementation Guide, published by COPS Office in 2015, to provide a practical tool for stakeholders seeking to implement DMI in their jurisdictions.
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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.
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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.
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