Law Enforcement Responses to Addressing Gang Activity

"Designing Out" Gang Homicides and Street Assaults
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), November 1998. Describes the Los Angeles Police Department's successful "Operation Cul de Sac" program for reducing gang violence by blocking automobile access to certain streets. (NCJ 173398)

Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide
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Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), May 1998. Prepared by the Police Executive Research Forum, this is a useful tool providing guidelines for agencies and community groups to develop individualized responses to local gang problems. Provides a foundation for understanding the diverse nature of gangs, the problems they pose, the harm they cause, and two analytical models for addressing gang-related problems.

Assessment of Multi-Agent Approach to Drug Involved Gang Members
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), November 2000. This research assesses the efficacy of a multi-agency project charged with reducing gang crime, specifically drug offenses. (NCJ 185252)

Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems- OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model
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Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), May 2009. In 1987, OJJDP began supporting a project to design a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent youth gang violence. This project resulted in the development of the Spergel Model of Gang Intervention and Suppression, later renamed the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model. The OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model includes five strategies for dealing with gang-involved youth and their families. The five strategies are: (1) community mobilization, (2) social intervention, (3) opportunities provision, (4) suppression, and (5) organizational change and development.

Best Practices To Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), June 2008. Provides guidance for communities that are considering how best to address a youth gang problem that already exists or threatens to become a reality. The guidance is based on the implementation of the Comprehensive Gang Model (Model), which was developed by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The Report also describes the research that produced the Model, notes essential findings from evaluations of several programs demonstrating the Model in a variety of environments, and outlines “best practices” obtained from practitioners with years of experience in planning, implementing, and overseeing variations of the Model in their communities.

Boston's Operation Night Light: New Roles, New Rules
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), August 1998. This Law Enforcement Bulletin discusses probation and police officers work together in Boston to ensure that high-risk offenders comply with the terms of their probation.

Can Civil Gang Injunctions Change Communities? A Community Assessment of the Impact of Civil Gang Injunctions
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), April 2004. This study evaluates the community impact of a locally popular gang intervention strategy, the Civil Gang Injunction, on neighborhood residents. Researchers predicted immediate and long-term effects on residents’ perceptions and experience of crime, gang activity and neighborhood quality. The study results offer guidance for program development for practitioners contemplating use of this strategy.

Checkpoints
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), March 1998. This Law Enforcement Bulletin discusses how police departments should consider fourth amendment implications of limiting access to high-crime areas.

Combating Fear and Restoring Safety in Schools
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Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), April 1998. This bulletin examines the climate of violence that threatens our schools and describes steps that concerned citizens are taking to restore security and calm. (NCJ 175561)

Early Precursors of Gang Membership: A Study of Seattle Youth
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), December 2001. The Seattle Social Development Project is a longitudinal study of youth living in high-crime neighborhoods and the predictors that lead to participation in gangs. (NCJ 190106)

Employment and Training for Court-Involved Youth: An Overview
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 1999. This bulletin provides an overview of the work of the Task Force on Employment and Training for Court-Involved Youth and describes promising programs: early intervention, residential, and aftercare.

Establishment of a Police Gang Unit: An Examination of Rational and Institutional Considerations
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), December 2000. This study uses a multidimensional method to ascertain the factors that shaped their decisions about a community's gang problem. (NCJ 182725)

Evaluation of the Mesa Gang Intervention Program (MGIP)
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago, October 2002. The OJJDP model involved multiple agencies interactively addressing individual youth, family members, and gang peers. The five core model strategies were community mobilization, social intervention, provision of social opportunities, suppression/social control, and organizational change and development. In an effort to implement this model under an OJJDP grant, the Mesa Police Department (MPD), the lead agency, collaborated with the Maricopa Juvenile and Adult Probation Departments, the Mesa School District, and United Way social agencies in the development of a 5-year gang prevention and suppression project entitled the Mesa Gang Intervention Program (MGIP). A case-management approach that involved a team of gang police, probation officers, case managers, and outreach youth workers emphasized social-intervention services as well as controls for 258 juveniles, primarily male Latinos between the ages of 12 and 20. Most were gang members on probation who were nonviolent offenders. In a multivariate, statistically controlled comparison of these youth with 96 comparison youth (who received no program services) from 3 comparison gang-problem areas, the program youth had arrest levels 18-percent lower than the comparison youth over a 4-year period. The targeted program neighborhoods also experienced a 10.4-percent greater reduction in selected juvenile-type crimes compared with an average of such crimes in the three comparison neighborhoods. Community/institutional collaboration that produced a broad range of program effects was identified as the primary factor in the project's success. Extensive tables and figures, 44 references, and appended data on police arrest charges, self-report offenses, a glossary of services/worker contacts, and the S/W Gang Involvement Scale.

Evaluation of the Riverside Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago, October 2003. The OJJDP model involved multiple agencies interactively addressing individual youth, family members, and gang peers. The five core model strategies were community mobilization, social intervention, provision of social opportunities, suppression/social control, and organizational change and development. The Riverside project, which was established in 1995 as a test of the OJJDP model, changed its name to BRIDGE (Building Resources for the Intervention and Deterrence of Gang Engagement) in 1999. Its 5-year (1995-2000) period of operations focused on two areas of the city with high rates of gang crime, with another gang-crime community selected as a comparison area. The program, established as a pilot effort, initially targeted gang-involved youth 12 to 21 years old who were on probation and involved in violent gang activity. One of the strongest components of the project was the employment-training and participation program of the Riverside Department of Human Resources. Also, two Riverside Police Department lieutenants assigned to the project had critical influence in community mobilization of agencies, program innovation, and administration. The evaluation involved a quasi-experimental design and multiple sources of data on project activities and outcomes. Measured outcomes focused on arrests of program and comparison youth. Program youth were three times as successful in the odds ratio of success to failure in reducing arrests for serious violence; they also had a lower ratio of failure to success for repeat drug arrests. Apparently the project did not reduce youth's membership and involvement in gangs relative to that of comparison youth during the project period. Extensive tables and figures and 80 references.

Evaluation of the San Antonio Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression Program
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), May 2005. The OJJDP model involved multiple agencies interactively addressing individual youth, family members, and gang peers. The five core model strategies were community mobilization, social intervention, provision of social opportunities, suppression/social control, and organizational change and development. The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) received an OJJDP grant for a project called the Gang Rehabilitation, Assessment, and Service Program (GRAASP). A steering committee was developed to focus on mobilizing local neighborhood organizations; however, conflict between the SAPD and local neighborhood organizations emerged over the failure of the SAPD to allocate resources for community health and social services and recreational opportunities for the general youth population. Consequently, representatives of the justice system had little constructive collaboration with local agencies and grassroots organizations. GRAASP became essentially an outreach, social-service support program to gang-involved youth referred to outreach youth workers and case managers by juvenile probation and parole officers. There was no team structure or approach that incorporated practitioners from various organizations/agencies as key members of an effective steering committee. The evaluation matched a sample of 110 program youth with a sample of 120 comparison youth who received no project services. There was no evidence that program youth reduced their involvement with the gangs of which they were members; slightly more program youth became gang members. There was no substantial evidence that the GRAASP Project had a differential effect in reducing the level of gang crime at the individual, gang, or community levels. Extensive tables and figures and 62 references.

Evaluation of the Tucson Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression Program
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago, September 2004. The OJJDP model involved multiple agencies interactively addressing individual youth, family members, and gang peers. The five core model strategies were community mobilization, social intervention, provision of social opportunities, suppression/social control, and organizational change and development. The Our Town Family Center in Tucson received an OJJDP grant to test this model under a project entitled the Las Vistas/Pueblo Gardens Gang Project. The grant extended from 1996 through 1999. Comparison neighborhoods similar to the project neighborhoods were selected for the purposes of the project evaluation. The targeted areas had an increasing concentration of low-income Hispanic families and a growing youth population, placing them at high risk for an increasing crime rate and gang problems. The project attempted to use an existing coalition of agencies as the project's Steering Committee, but the effort failed, as the project involved only a limited number of social agencies, schools, and community groups, which met sporadically to provide token support and receive information about the project's progress. The program consisted primarily of services to at-risk youth by case managers and outreach youth workers, with an emphasis on early-intervention services for younger juveniles. The evaluation used a series of multivariate analyses to determine any significant differences between project and control areas in total arrests, serious violence arrests, total violence arrests, drug arrests, property arrests, and other minor arrests. The evaluation concluded that project efforts were not sufficient to modify arrest patterns at the individual or community levels. Extensive tables and figures and 60 references.

Fighting Urban Crime: The Evolution of Federal-Local Collaboration
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), December 2003. This document examines how federal collaboration with local law enforcement authorities has evolved during 20 years of joint crime fighting against drugs, illegal weapons, and gangs. This study also examined particular collaborations in three cities: San Diego (California), Detroit (Michigan), and Memphis (Tennessee). (NCJ 197040)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. This report provides data on how street gang crime patterns related to common patterns of street gang structure provide focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control. (NCJ 188511)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses: A Summary Report
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. Provides data on how street gang crime patterns related to common patterns of street gang structure provide focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control. (NCJ 188510)

Guide for Implementing the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), December 1998. This document will assist juvenile justice professionals in implementing this approach to juvenile justice through its three components: accountability, competency development, and community safety. (NCJ 167887)

How to Analyze and Battle Incidents of Graffiti: CgrAs - Citywide Graffiti Abatement System
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Police Foundation, July 2004. This issue, the second of 2004, contains articles on the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) in law enforcement. The first article in this issue is about the use of GPS and GIS in the state of North Carolina and focuses on truck crashes and commercial vehicle enforcement. The second article is about the use of GPS-enabled digital cameras to analyze gang-related graffiti incidents in Santa Monica, CA. Finally, the third article is a recap of the recent International Crime Mapping Research Conference that took place in March 2004 in Boston, MA.

Mobilizing Communities to Address Gang Problems
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Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), January 2009. A proven, effective set of prescribed steps for mobilizing communities to address gang problems does not exist. This review of the literature on community-mobilization initiatives was undertaken to identify potentially effective steps, with the aim of laying the groundwork for pilot-testing them. The review begins with a discussion of definitions pertaining to community mobilization, followed by an examination of the history of initiatives that have addressed gang problems. This is followed by a review of research on community-mobilization implementation in five gang program demonstration sites. This report concludes with suggested key elements of successful community mobilization.

OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model: A Guide to Assessing Your Community's Youth Gang Problem
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), June 2002. This guide will assist policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders in assessing and understanding their youth gang problems and developing an integrated plan to reduce gang crime in their communities.

OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model: Planning for Implementation
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), July 2002. Describes the model, and provides information on the data behind it, criteria for strategies to implement the model, developing an implementation plan, staffing, street outreach, evaluation, and lessons learned from five urban sites.

Planning a Successful Crime Prevention Project
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 1998. The bulletin is a workbook designed to help youth counselors plan, select, design, and implement a successful crime-prevention project for a community using a five-step Success Cycle. (NCJ 177024)

Police Response to Gangs: A Multi-Site Study
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), April 2004. Prepared by Arizona State University West, this research report describes the assumptions, issues, problems, and events that have been characterizing, shaping, and defining police response to local gang problems in the United States, centering on Albuquerque, New Mexico; Inglewood, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona. (NCJ 205003)

Policing by Injunction: Problem-Oriented Dimensions of Civil Gang Abatement in the State of California
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), November 2002. Civil gang abatement is promoted as a problem-oriented response to high-drug, high-crime, and high-disorder initiatives. This federally funded study explored the scope of flexibility, community involvement, and problem solving in the acquisition stage of the civil injunction process in the State of California, an effort by prosecutors to acquire a preliminary injunction against a gang to abate persistent public nuisance activity in neighborhoods. (NCJ 197138)

Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), September 2000. This publication offers a solid foundation on which to build a comprehensive strategy to prevent youth gang involvement, examining the youth gang problem within the larger context of juvenile violence. Describes key characteristics of youth gangs, and the risk factors for gang membership, including individual and family demographics, personal attributes, and peer group, school, and community factors. (NCJ 182210)

Project Safe Neighborhoods: A National Program to Reduce Gun Crime (Final Project Report)
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National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), April 2009. A NIJ-funded evaluation of the effectiveness of this major multiyear, Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) is a nationwide program aimed at reducing gun violence in the United States.

Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), February 1999. This publication is designed as a toolbox to provide law enforcement, state and local elected officials, prosecutors, judges, community organizations, and other policymakers with practical information about a range of strategies for reducing gun violence. (NCJ 173950)

Prosecuting Gang Cases: What Local Prosecutors Need to Know
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Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), April 2004. This monograph guides prosecutors through pre-trial and trial issues involved in prosecuting gang cases. (NCJ 206322)

Reducing Gun Violence: Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), February 2005. This report profiles Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles, including the problem targeted; the program designed to address it; the problems faced in designing, implementing, and evaluating it; and the strategies adopted in addressing obstacles encountered. (NCJ 192378)

Reducing Gun Violence: Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), February 2005. This report profiles Operation Ceasefire in Los Angeles, including the problem targeted; the program designed to address it; the problems faced in designing, implementing, and evaluating it; and the strategies adopted in addressing obstacles encountered. (NCJ 192378)

Reducing Gun Violence: The Boston Gun Project's Operation Cease-fire
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), September 2001. As part of the NIJ's Reducing Gun Violence publication series, this report is a problem-oriented policing initiative aimed at taking on the serious problem of homicide victimization among youths in Boston. It details the problem, the program designed to address it, problems confronted in designing, implementing, and evaluating the effort, plus strategies in response to obstacles. (NCJ 188741)

Responding to Gangs: Evaluation and Research
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), July 2002. A collection of papers representative of the National Institute of Justice's portfolio of gang-related research. Ten chapters present different aspects of gang problems and research. (NCJ 190351)

Specialized Gang Units: Form and Function in Community Policing
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), October 2004. This research examined whether community policing and specialized gang units are complementary or conflicting approaches. The research approach consisted of qualitative examination of police department procedures and practices, and extensive field observation of gang personnel. (NCJ 207204)

Specialized Gang Units: Form and Function in Community Policing
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), October 2004. This research examined whether community policing and specialized gang units are complementary or conflicting approaches. The research approach consisted of qualitative examination of police department procedures and practices, and extensive field observation of gang personnel. (NCJ 207204)

Youth Gang Programs and Strategies
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), August 2000. This report draws on more than 50 years of gang program evaluations. It outlines programs and strategies that have been and are being used to break the lure and appeal of gangs and reduce gang crime and violence. (NCJ 171154)