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This report was created at the request of Southern Bancorp Community Partners (“SBCP”) in order to examine policies for improving the economic circumstances in Helena-­‐West Helena, Arkansas (referred to as both “HWH” or “Helena” in this report) through strategies for crime reduction. HWH has an extraordinarily high crime rate, which not only affects the citizens who are direct victims of these offenses, but also the city’s economic fortunes by deterring potential customers, investors and other sources of tax revenue. SBCP is a nonprofit with a mission to transform rural southern Communities. SBCP works in a partnership with Southern Bancorp (“Southern”), one of the nation’s largest rural economic development banks. SBCP’s geographic focus is on the Mississippi Delta region and southern Arkansas. This report will detail a variety of policy options available to community leaders in Helena-­‐West Helena to lower crime and increase the efficacy of criminal justice policies. While these general policies have been enacted in demographically similar cities, our recommendations have been customized to Helena’s particular geography and community settings.

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