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Responding to Gangs in the School Setting


Responding to Gangs in the School Setting — 8/22/2017

five youth sitting next to each other on a ledge

"Approximately 11 percent of students in middle and high schools across the country report the presence of gang activity in their schools."

Lauren Musu-Gillette, National Center for Education Statistics, Anlan Zhang, American Institutes for Research, Ke Wang, Jizhi Zhang, American Institutes for Research, Barbara A. Oudekerk, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 16, 2017   NCJ 250650

In June 2017, the City of Danville, Virginia, sent representatives from local government, law enforcement, community services, and schools to Denver, Colorado, to train on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM).  The Danville Register & Bee recently published an article about the CGM training and what the city is doing to address the issue of gangs in schools. 

Gang affiliation is not something that students leave behind when they enter the school building. If a gang presence exists at school, it cannot be ignored. School administrators should address gang-related issues head-on or they will fester, harm school climate, and impede the learning environment.

The best strategies are preventative and proactive rather than simply reactive. The best way to identify and respond to gangs within the school environment is to create a gang intervention process that begins with awareness and understanding of the gang issue, provides prevention measures, emphasizes consistent consequences for gang behaviors, and establishes school safety and crisis planning.

For more on "Responding to Gangs in the School Setting," download the PDF at https://nationalgangcenter.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh331/files/media/document/bulletin-5.pdf.

Related resource:

The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is a school‐based, law enforcement officer‐instructed classroom curriculum. The Program, whose primary objective is prevention, is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. G.R.E.A.T. lessons focus on providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. The G.R.E.A.T. Program is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Since its inception in 1991, more than 12,000 law enforcement officers have been certified as G.R.E.A.T. instructors, and more than 6 million students have graduated from the G.R.E.A.T. Program.

For more information about G.R.E.A.T., visit https://www.great-online.org/GREAT-Home.


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