Gang Prevention Through Targeted Outreach (GPTTO), operated by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), is a communitywide gang prevention program that attempts to intervene with youths at risk of gang involvement. 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 prevent gang involvement. Police departments, schools, social service agencies, and community organizations recruit at-risk youth into club programs in a nonstigmatizing way through direct outreach efforts and a referral network that links local clubs with courts. Once in the Boys & Girls Club, youth participate in programs based on their individual interests and needs.
In the prevention model, the youth are recruited into local Boys & Girls Clubs to participate in all aspects of club programming. 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. In general, the GPTTO has been shown to produce positive outcomes both in behavior related to school and delinquency measures, although differences between the comparison group and those participating in the program are stronger for school-related behaviors than for delinquency and gang-related behaviors. Evaluations of youth behavior after participating in the GPTTO program for one year suggested that more frequent GPTTO club attendance is associated with the youth being less likely to start wearing gang colors, being less likely to have contact with the juvenile justice court system, exhibiting fewer delinquent behaviors, and demonstrating improved school outcomes and increased levels of positive peer and family relationships.
National Gang Center and OJJDP Model Programs Guide: 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.