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Process and Outcome Evaluation of the G.R.E.A.T. Program

NCJ Number
Finn-Aage Esbensen; Wayne Osgood; Dana Peterson; Terrance J. Taylor; Dena Carson; Adrienne Freng; Kristy Matsuda
Date Published
December 2013
613 pages
The findings and methodology are presented for the process and outcome evaluation of the G.R.E.A.T. program (Gang Resistance Education and Training), which is a 13-lesson school-based program taught by uniformed law enforcement officers to middle-school students, with the intent of reducing gang membership and associated delinquent behavior.
The process evaluation, which focused on the quality of the program's implementation, determined the officer-instructors were well-trained and that certified officers, upon graduation, were prepared to teach the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum in local schools. Generally, the officer-instructors believed they were prepared to teach the curriculum and perceived that the lessons were effective in achieving their goals. Based on scored observations of the 33 officers teaching G.R.E.A.T. in participating school, 27 scored with average fidelity to program design, and content; 3 scored with below-average fidelity; and 3 failed to deliver the program with sufficient fidelity to have the intended effect. The outcome portion of the evaluation, which analyzed data 1-year post-program delivery, found statistically significant differences between the treatment (G.R.E.A.T.) samples and the control students on 14 out of 33 attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. The study continued the monitoring of the students for 3 more years. The 4-year post-program analyses found results similar to the 1-year post-program effects, albeit with smaller effect sizes. After 4 years, 10 positive program effects were found, including lower odds of joining a gang and more positive attitudes toward police. The evaluation consisted of a randomized control trial that involve 3,820 students in 195 classrooms in 11 schools in 7 cities. Approximately half of the G.R.E.A.T. grade-level classrooms within each school were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups. One hundred and two classrooms (2,051 students) were assigned to receive G.R.E.A.T., and 93 classrooms (1,769 students) were assigned to the control condition. Grant products and appended reports and data collection instruments