Ten years ago, the Weed and Seed project was launched in Alton. When federal funding for the project dried up about five years ago, local leaders determined it was making a big enough impact, the program should continue, even if it required a rebranding of the effort. In recent years, the Line in the Sand community prosecution efforts have continued to clean up what have been known as problem areas in the city.
The original program targeted the Hunterstown, Middletown and Mexico neighborhoods. Line in the Sand continues those efforts through a volunteer committee, according to Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons.
Where appropriate, cases are referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office, as federal charges usually carry a longer prison sentence. The goal of the committee is to remove repeat offenders from the city's streets, thus improving the quality of life for the many law-abiding residents in the community.