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Evaluation of the San Antonio Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention and Suppression Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2004
230 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of the evaluation of San Antonio's (Texas) 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. 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

Date Published: June 1, 2004