The Strategic Planning Tool (SPT) is a valuable resource for practitioners actively working to assess and implement strategic responses to address their gang issues. This tool can be used as a stand-alone resource. It has also been designed to complement implementation of the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM).
The four interrelated components of the tool can be used separately or in sequence. The Planning and Implementation, Risk Factors, and Program Matrix components provide information based on research and program evaluations. The Community Resource Inventory component is a user-specific, password-protected database application in which planners can populate local resources to conduct an asset and gap analysis.
1. Planning and Implementation
The Planning and Implementation component cross-references gang and delinquency, prevention, intervention, and suppression programs, strategies, and best practices by age of the intended target population. Program planners can utilize this component when determining selection of services for specific age groups. Programs housed in the SPT are reviewed using several well-established research-based criteria and designated by NGC as “effective” or “promising.” Programs are linked to risk factors within the five individual and social domains. Strategies and best practices are organized by prevention, intervention, and suppression subheadings.
2. Risk Factors
The Risk Factors component provides a review of risk and protective factor research for juvenile delinquency and gang involvement. Risk factors within each of the five domains are listed by developmental age group. Factors that are known to be correlated to gang behavior are asterisked. Examples of potential data sources are shown for community-level measurement of risk factor prevalence. A risk factor matrix is also provided that crosswalks an alphabetical list of risk factors to age and associated programs.
3. Program Matrix
The Program Matrix component provides a list of all programs selected for inclusion in the SPT. The matrix allows users to quickly view the applicable age range of intended clients to be served by each program. Information for each program includes the SPT-designated rating classification, a program description, associated risk factors addressed, research endorsements, contact information, and references.
4. Community Resource Inventory
The Community Resource Inventory component allows the program planner to record information about community organizations, programs, services, and activities in a user-specific, password-protected database application. A community resource inventory is an essential first step in problem assessment. It can be used to identify existing resources for the population being served and build cross-agency coordination to avoid duplication of services. As the user-specific database is populated, program planners can view the searchable inventory as a matrix of resources organized by age groups. It can help answer the questions, “What does our community have in place?” and “What do we need that is missing?”