The Richmond Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP) target area consists of two police reporting sectors in south Richmond, Virginia. The target area is a suburban-type community of single-family homes and apartments. The area is transitioning from a middle-class to a working-class population, with an increase in Hispanic residents. Traditional “homegrown” African-American gangs are the most prevalent gang presence in terms of membership and criminal activity. GRIP has four program components.
Prevention activities are aimed at the broad population of families and youth who are at risk of becoming involved in gang and delinquent activity.
Intervention activities are supported by a multidisciplinary intervention team that conducts case-management activities, including street outreach to support gang-involved youth, with the goal of providing an alternative to gang membership. Activities with individual youths are targeted toward that goal and tracked via case-management software.
Suppression activities include directed police patrols, community policing, community awareness, supporting increased law enforcement intelligence sharing, establishing a multiagency law enforcement and prosecution response to target gang leaders, increasing the number of school resource officers in target area schools, and expanding neighborhood watch teams in partnership with the Richmond Police Department and community members.
Reentry activities are closely tied to the multidisciplinary intervention team and include self-sufficiency skill training and job training and placement. Support services—such as food, transportation, and other services—are available.
Program evaluators observed that the Richmond Gang Reduction and Intervention Program could have benefited from additional time to refine its strategic planning goals and objectives. GRIP also encountered obstacles with respect to a time-consuming subcontract procurement process, which was important because the program sought to fund as many partners and bring as many organizations into the collaboration as possible. However, implementation ultimately proved relatively consistent with OJJDP’s comprehensive Gang Reduction Program model.
Crime outcomes were measured using police data on four different measures: serious violence, gang-related incidents, gang-related violent incidents, and drug incidents. Serious violent incidents, gang incidents, and serious violent gang crime all declined sharply following implementation of GRIP, while trends in the comparison area were relatively flat during the same period. In contrast, drug-related incidents increased in the target area and declined in the comparison area, contrary to the evaluation hypotheses.
National Gang Center: Effective gang program
Ms. Amy Wight Kube
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Hayeslip, D., and Cahill, M. (2009). Community Collaboratives Addressing Youth Gangs: Final Evaluation Findings From the Gang Reduction Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.