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NCJ Number: 207654 Find in a Library
Title: Development of a Gang Exit Strategy: The Youth Ambassador's Leadership and Employment Project
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:66  Issue:6  Dated:October 2004  Pages:78-81
Author(s): Donald G. Evans; John Sawdon
Date Published: October 2004
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes Toronto's (Canada) Beyond the Halls program, a pilot project that involves multiple strategies designed to reduce gang-related violence associated with a high school located in a neighborhood with a history of gangs, limited economic and employment opportunities, and limited educational and recreational resources for youths.
Abstract: The project began in 1998 under the leadership of the Canadian Training Institute (CTI), a national voluntary organization that provides training and consulting services along with applied research through demonstration projects. Beyond the Halls was created to address increasing school violence and gang proliferation throughout Toronto. The project's first step was the creation of planning committees composed of various stakeholders for the purpose of conducting surveys that assessed the school's culture and the prevalence, types, and levels of violence in the school. The survey identified a target population of youth at risk for violence and gang membership, i.e., recent immigrants who belong to minority neighborhoods and have been court-involved or had difficulties in school. The 3-year pilot project, funded by Human Resources Development Canada, focuses on young men and women between the ages of 15 and 23 who are gang involved and out of school. The strategy is to build upon and mold the leadership skills of these youths, who will then influence other youths to avoid or quit gangs. This is done through the program components of assessment and intake, intensive training and personal development, and case management and follow-up. At the completion of this process, some youths are selected to participate in the youth ambassador leadership and employment program, which is designed to develop skills and structure leadership activities that will help them exert a positive influence on other youths.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime in schools; Gang Prevention; Gang violence; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Peer influences on behavior; Positive peer culture; School maladjustment
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