It takes a village/community to coordinate prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry programs to reduce and control gang-related crime and violence. Grant applications for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Anti-Gang Strategies and Programs are due May 23, 2016. The purpose of this grant is to implement anti-gang programs in the following areas:
- Primary prevention (reducing risk factors for all families who live in gang active areas)
- Secondary prevention (programs and risk assessments for youth showing problem behavior)
- Intervention for current gang members
- Targeted law enforcement and prosecution for serious violent offenders
Since involvement in gangs is a complex social problem, the key to this grant is collaboration. Funding will be provided to hire a multi-strategy gang coordinator who will work with diverse stakeholders such as law enforcement, schools, faith-based groups, services organizations, nonprofits, and businesses to change the climate in which street gangs thrive.
In addition to collaboration, evidence-based intervention is an equally important element in combating gangs. The OJJDP has a Model Programs Guide that evaluates which pilot projects have been most successful. Many strategies have been implemented in the past, including peer outreach, summer school enrichment, job training, police mentoring, self-esteem enhancement, counseling, conflict resolution, substance abuse treatment, illegal handgun recovery, and special gang tasks force. The OJJDP site provides analysis into which strategies hold the most promise and which might be the best fit for your own community.
School-Based Gang Resistance Education and Training
If you are not ready to apply for OJJDP Comprehensive Anti-Gang Strategies and Programs, or if you are reading this after the 2016 due date, another option is the school-based Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program. Available in every state, G.R.E.A.T. allows entities to tap into existing efforts whether or not the time is right to apply for the federal award.
For more information on the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Strategies and Programs, click here.For more information on smaller grants the G.R.E.A.T. Foundation makes available to law enforcement officers participating in their local schools, click here.
Glossary of Research Terms
Since evidence based practices are becoming more important in the grant world, we have compiled a free glossary of basic research terms for the layperson. Just click below to access: