Gang Intervention Through Targeted Outreach (GITTO), operated by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), is a communitywide gang prevention program that attempts to intervene with youths in the “wannabe” stage or current gang members. Targeted Outreach incorporates four objectives: community mobilization, recruitment, mainstreaming/programming, and case management. Local implementation of this program begins with mobilizing community leaders and club staff, who discuss local gang issues and clarify their roles as they design a strategy to offer youth alternatives to the gang lifestyle.
Target youth are identified and recruited through direct outreach and referrals from agencies such as school personnel, social service agencies, police, and probation. In the intervention model, youth are recruited to participate in a project that is staffed by the Boys & Girls Club but is run separately (either after typical club hours or on a more one-on-one case management basis) from daily club activities. Programs are offered in five core areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness, and recreation. Life-skills programs are geared to enhance communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and decision-making abilities. Similar to the Gang Prevention Through Targeted Ooutreach model, the GITTO program produced modest positive outcomes for youth participating in the program. More frequent attendance in the GITTO program was associated with less involvement in gang-associated behaviors, less contact with the juvenile justice system, and more positive school engagement.
National Gang Center: Promising program
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
1230 West Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 487-5700
Arbreton, A. J. A., and McClanahan, W. (2002). Targeted Outreach: Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Approach to Gang Prevention and Intervention. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.
Schinke, S. P.; Cole, K. C.; and Orlandi, M. A. (1991). The Effects of Boys & Girls Clubs on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Related Problems in Public Housing. New York: Columbia University, School of Social Work.