The targeted intervention concept is gaining steam in the human services field. For more than a decade, New York City’s Justice Mapping Center has used computer mapping and other graphical depictions of quantitative data to identify hidden patterns and trends, and direct social interventions based on those findings. By using geospatial analytics to direct human services, the Center maximizes program effectiveness.
For instance, in one of its programs, the Center tracks the residential addresses of inmates in various prison systems—the address that they gave when they went into prison. The center found that offenders often are concentrated in particular census blocks, some of them costing state and local governments more than $1 million a year in incarceration costs alone. Such findings are spurring cities to design re-entry initiatives for specific neighborhoods, with services such as transitional housing and job training for ex-offenders. By targeting these services towards high-risk areas, they can provide more tailored services more efficiently.