U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Gang Resistance Education and Training: The National Evaluation

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 63 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1996) Pages: 34,36,38
Date Published
3 pages
This article presents the methodology and preliminary cross- sectional data from the national evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) project.
GREAT was begun by the Phoenix Police Department in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 1991 in order to reduce gang activity. The curriculum consists of nine weekly lesson plans offered once a week to middle-school students, primarily seventh graders. GREAT has been adopted by numerous law enforcement agencies across the Nation; as of January 1996, more than 1,700 officers from 47 States and the District of Columbia had completed the training. The primary objective of the National Evaluation is to assess GREAT's effectiveness in effecting positive changes in attitudes and behavior. The evaluation is composed of two strategies. First, a cross-sectional study of 11 locales with GREAT programs was conducted in the spring of 1995, with questionnaires administered to a sample of eighth-grade students to assess the program's effectiveness. Second, in a longitudinal study conducted at six site, classrooms were randomly assigned to GREAT instruction, thus creating experimental and control groups. Since the longitudinal research is still in progress, this report focuses on the cross-sectional data. To date there is reason to be optimistic about the GREAT program. The preliminary results reported in this article suggest that it may have affected students' attitudes and behaviors; students report lower levels of involvement in delinquent activity and approval of fighting, are less likely to engage in impulsive or risk-taking behavior, and express stronger antigang attitudes. 1 table and 4 notes

Date Published: January 1, 1996