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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221778 Find in a Library
Title: Understanding and Tackling Gang Violence
Journal: Crime Prevention and Community Safety  Volume:10  Issue:1  Dated:2008  Pages:36-47
Author(s): Karen Bullock; Nick Tilley
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 12
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article reports on the process evaluation of the development and implementation of the Manchester (England) project designed to address gang-related gun violence.
Abstract: The evaluation concluded that the Manchester project's focus on addressing the social problems that cause youth to join gangs was an impractical strategy, and it recommends adopting the strategy of the successful Boston Gun Project (United States), which focused on preventing/deterring specific gang-related violent behaviors. By focusing on specific criminal gang-related behaviors, the Boston Gun Project did not become involved in dealing with more complex and elusive socioeconomic factors related to the emergence of gangs and youths' motivation to join gangs. This evaluation focused on the problems that arose in the implementation of the Manchester project due to its misguided adoption of the latter strategy. One of the project's problems was serious differences among staff members about which youth were involved in gangs and why. Disagreements stemmed from differences in the identification of factors related to gang membership. In addition, the focus on the development of preventive intervention and countermeasures designed to address the social causes of gang membership diverted attention from law enforcement's role in suppressing specific gang-related criminal behaviors. The effectiveness of the Boston Gun Project in reducing gang-related gun violence suggests that a focus on specific gang-related behaviors, such as shootings or other forms of violence may be more effective and efficient than attempting to address the more complex factors that cause youth to join gangs. This evaluation relied on some 50 interviews with those who designed and implemented the project, as well as those responsible for implementing project tasks between 2001 and 2003. Observations of project meetings were conducted, and project records were examined. 12 references
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Firearm-crime relationships; Foreign crime prevention; Gang violence; Juvenile gun ownership; Massachusetts
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