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NCJ Number: 161736 Find in a Library
Title: What Works: The Search for Excellence in Gang Intervention Programs
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:3  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:1- 16
Author(s): J G Houston
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A national survey of gang members was conducted to determine what they believe to be successful in gang prevention and intervention.
Abstract: The survey was conducted in 24 sites, including alternative schools in the midwest, juvenile correctional institutions in seven states, jails in two states, a State boot camp in one State, and private residential facilities for at- risk youth in three States. The 3,348 participants completed anonymous questionnaires. Results called into question many closely held views of experts such as social workers and community activists who have worked hard to develop and implement programs to meet the needs of youth at risk of joining a gang or who are members of street gangs. Gang members believe that although education is not a waste of time, it is ineffective in preventing at-risk youths from joining a gang. They hold similar views about drug education. Surprisingly, gang members regard both gang suppression and counseling. They also held positive views of recreation programs. They expressed the most support for jobs, job training, and counseling. Findings suggested that establishment of Synanon-type houses that use trained former gang members under the supervision of professional social workers to combine jobs, skill training, counseling, and education to the benefit of the individual involved in the program. Such programs can successfully peel marginal gang members away from the core. The goal should be to discontinue programs that make the implementors feel good and establish programs that address the factors that promote gang membership. Tables and 28 references
Main Term(s): Gang Prevention; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Criminology; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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