Using Photovoice to Empower Youth and Adults to Prevent Crimeedit
Photovoice empowers residents to use photographs to identify neighborhood concerns. Although Photovoice has been used to facilitate dialogue and action among residents to address a variety of issues, including neighborhood crime, it has not been used as part of an intervention to promote collective efficacy. This project integrated Photovoice into a crime-prevention program the goal of which was to facilitate collective efficacy, which. in turn, has been associated with lower levels of neighborhood crime and violence. Twenty-four racially diverse youth and adults participated in a crime-prevention training where Photovoice was used first to identify neighborhood characteristics that participants believed contributed to and alleviated crime, and then to develop a community project. Participants worked together to reuse a highly visible vacant lot to create an inviting neighborhood art and garden space that was open to the whole community. This process facilitated stronger social ties among neighborhood residents, as well as strategies for intervening in neighborhood problems, both of which are important components of collective efficacy.