The Strategic Planning Tool (SPT) is a valuable resource for communities actively working to assess and develop strategies to address their gang issues. This tool can be used by all communities; however, it was specifically designed to be used with the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM) Assessment and Implementation Guides.
The four interrelated components of the tool are described below. They can be used separately or in sequence, depending on the user’s needs. The Planning and Implementation, Risk Factors, and Program Matrix components provide information for any community, while the Community Resource Inventory component is site-specific. In other words, the user creates a password-protected database and populates it with information on local resources.
The Planning and Implementation component contains descriptions of numerous gang prevention, intervention, and suppression programs, strategies, and activities, as well as juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention programs. Programs in the database were reviewed using several criteria and designated as “effective” or “promising.” The user is offered hundreds of options, cross-referenced by age of the intended target population and linked to risk factors in five domains. These programs, strategies, and practices can be selected to fill gaps in coverage.
The Risk Factors component describes research-based risk factors for delinquency by age (developmental) periods; risk factors that are correlated to gang behavior are annotated. Empirical indicators and data sources are shown for community-level measurement of risk factor prevalence.
The Program Matrix component lists all programs in the Strategic Planning Tool database alphabetically. The matrix allows users to view the age range of clients served by each program. The program names are linked to pages describing the programs; these pages include references and contact information.
The Community Resource Inventory component allows the user to “inventory” and record information about community organizations, programs, services, and activities that could be incorporated into a collaborative, comprehensive approach to gangs. A community resource inventory is an essential first step in problem assessment. Once a user has populated his or her resource inventory, the user can view a matrix that helps answer the questions, “What does our community have in place?” and “What do we need that is missing?” Each user’s inventory is independently searchable.