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Evaluation of the Mesa Gang Intervention Program (MGIP)

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2002
518 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of the evaluation of Mesa's (Arizona) Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Program, which was part of the national evaluation of the model gang program promoted under grants from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
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

Date Published: October 1, 2002