Project BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development; now the BUILD Violence Intervention Curriculum) is a curriculum designed to help youth in detention overcome problems they may face in their communities, such as gangs, crime, and drugs. BUILD staff provide counseling, community education, and work-readiness training through four major approaches:
An earlier version of this program consisted of an anti-gang curriculum that was taught to eighth-grade students in Chicago middle schools located in lower- and lower-middle-class areas with high levels of gang activity. Following completion of the curriculum component, youth from the classrooms considered to be at high risk for joining gangs were invited to participate in an after-school program. It provided recreational activities, job skills training workshops, educational assistance programs, and social activities. At-risk youth were identified by teachers and project staff using gang rosters compiled by detached street-gang workers on the basis of interviews with gang members. The program targeted both males and females who were detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, Illinois, and who were enrolled in the school on the premises.
The evaluation study conducted by Lurigio and colleagues (2000) found that youths who participated in Project BUILD had significantly lower rates of recidivism compared to non–Project BUILD youths. Among those students who participated in Project BUILD, 33% returned to detention within a year, compared with 57% of non–Project BUILD youths.
Effective program: CrimeSolutions.gov, Model Program Guide, National Gang Center
Adam M. Alonso
5100 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60644
Phone: (773) 227-2880
Lurigio, A. J., Bensinger, G. D., and Thompson, S. R. (2000). A process and outcome evaluation of Project BUILD: Years 5 and 6. Unpublished Report. Chicago: Loyola University.
Thompson, D. W., and Jason, L. A. (1988). Street Gangs and Preventive Interventions. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 15:323–333.