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NCJ Number: 206246 Find in a Library
Title: Caught in the Crossfire: Arresting Gang Violence By Investing in Kids
Author(s): William Christeson M.H.S; Sanford Newman J.D.
Corporate Author: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
United States of America
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
1212 New York Ave NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document provides the Fight Crime: Invest In Kids model for preventing youth involvement in gang activity.
Abstract: Gang violence is on the rise, with youth gang-related homicides up 50 percent nationwide since 1999. Members of Fight Crime: Invest In Kids organization are committed to deterring gang violence through three proven steps: (1) build on the success of previous models; (2) provide proven programs that assist families in deterring children from joining gangs; and (3) reach at-risk as early as possible to prevent them from becoming involved with gangs. The description of these three steps makes up the bulk of the document. Information on gangs and gang-related violence is presented, such as the spread of gangs from the traditional hubs of Los Angeles and Chicago to smaller cities and, finally in the 1990’s, into suburban and rural areas. Traditional gang structure is described, followed by a description of more loosely structured neighborhood “crews,” “cliques,” or “posses.” A brief cost analysis of the consequences of violent gang crime in the United States is presented. In the following sections, the three steps to gang prevention are enumerated. Successful gang prevention programs in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baton Rouge are described under step 1 of the model as exemplary programs to be emulated. Each of these programs targeted specific high-risk gang members for intervention efforts, resulting in a reduction in youth homicides in all three cities. Each of the programs involved a collaborative effort that sent a clear message that violence would no longer be tolerated. Intensive support and services were provided in each case to help keep high-risk youths out of trouble. Under step 2, three empirically-based programs are described that intervene with serious juvenile offenders who may not yet be gang members. The programs focus on providing the caregivers of the high-risk youth with the necessary tools to control their children’s behaviors. Program evaluations have revealed significant decreases in new arrests of youths. Step 3 focuses on early intervention programs designed to keep children away from gangs, including after-school programs and bullying prevention programs. High-quality home visitation programs for new parents and pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk youth have been met with significant success. Policymakers are urged to fully invest in these comprehensive anti-gang solutions. Figures, endnotes
Main Term(s): Gang Prevention
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Gang violence; Model programs; Violence prevention
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