The Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model (referred to herein as the Comprehensive Gang Model) is based on a nationwide assessment of youth gang problems and programs, funded by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Conducted in the late 1980s, this study identified the main strategies that are commonly used and viewed favorably in community responses to gang problems. These strategies have been further developed and interrelated in the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model. Brief descriptions of the five strategies follow.
Community Mobilization: Involvement of local citizens—including former gang youth, community groups, and agencies—and the coordination of programs and staff functions within and across agencies.
Opportunities Provision: The development of a variety of specific education, training, and employment programs targeting gang-involved youth.
Social Intervention: Involving youth-serving agencies, schools, grassroots groups, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and other juvenile/criminal justice organizations in “reaching out” to gang-involved youth and their families and linking them with the conventional world and needed services.
Suppression: Formal and informal social control procedures, including close supervision and monitoring of gang-involved youth by agencies of the juvenile/criminal justice system and also by community-based agencies, schools, and grassroots groups.
Organizational Change and Development: Development and implementation of policies and procedures that result in the most effective use of available and potential resources, within and across agencies, to better address the gang problem.
The pilot program, the Gang Violence Reduction Program (described separately in this program database) in Chicago, Illinois, targeted approximately 200 hard-core gang youths. The program youth had significantly fewer total violent and drug arrests than comparison youth. The project was less effective in reducing total crimes among the two targeted gangs and in the community as a whole. Although the outcomes for this project are mixed, the results are consistent for violent crime reductions across analyses at all three program levels: (1) the individual, (2) the group (gang), and (3) the community (especially in the views of residents on this measure).
An evaluation that combined results from the Chicago project with outcomes in five other implementation sites found that when the program was well implemented (in three sites: Chicago; Mesa, Arizona; and Riverside, California), the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model initiatives significantly reduced gang violence in the three sites. In summary, the evaluation found that when implemented with good fidelity to the Comprehensive Gang Model, collaborative interagency and community initiatives produced favorable outcomes (see OJJDP, 2008, pp. 37–50 for a summary of all Comprehensive Gang Model results through 2008). The most successful sites integrated outreach activities and a variety of intervention services (coordinated by intervention teams) with surveillance and suppression strategies.
In the next demonstration of the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model, the Gang Reduction Program, primary and secondary prevention components were added (see Wyrick, 2006). Initial evaluations have shown positive, although not consistently strong, results in the Gang Reduction Programs in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, and in the Southside community of Richmond, Virginia. Both of these programs have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness, and each of them is available separately in this database. In addition, four Gang-Free Schools and Communities projects that emphasize prevention and intervention were funded by OJJDP.
National Gang Center and OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Effective program
National Gang Center
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
Post Office Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317-2729
Phone: (850) 385-0600
Fax: (850) 386-5356
Web site: http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/
Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems. (2008). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Content/Documents/Gang-Problems.pdf.
Spergel, I. A. (1995). The Youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach. Oxford University Press: New York.
Spergel, I. A. (2007). Reducing Youth Gang Violence: The Little Village Gang Project in Chicago. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. Appendix A, p. 51.
Spergel, I. A.; Wa, K. M.; and Sosa, R. V. (2006). “The Comprehensive, Community-Wide, Gang Program Model: Success and Failure.” In J. F. Short and L. A. Hughes (eds.), Studying Youth Gangs. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, pp. 203–224.
Hayeslip, D., and Cahill, M. (2009). Community Collaboratives Addressing Youth Gangs: Final Evaluation Findings From the Gang Reduction Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
Wyrick, P. (2006). “Gang Prevention: How to Make the ’Front End’ of Your Anti-Gang Effort Work.” United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, 54(3):52–60.