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Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model


Comprehensive; Ages 6–29


(Read the criteria for these ratings)

Promising gang program

Promising adult program


The Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model (referred to herein as the Comprehensive Gang Model) is based on a nationwide assessment of youth gang problems and programs, funded by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Conducted in the late 1980s, this study identified the main strategies that are commonly used and viewed favorably in community responses to gang problems. These strategies have been further developed and interrelated in the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model. Brief descriptions of the five strategies follow.

Community Mobilization: Involvement of local citizens—including former gang youth, community groups, and agencies—and the coordination of programs and staff functions within and across agencies.

Opportunities Provision: The development of a variety of specific education, training, and employment programs targeting gang-involved youth.

Social Intervention: Involving youth-serving agencies, schools, grassroots groups, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and other juvenile/criminal justice organizations in “reaching out” to gang-involved youth and their families and linking them with the conventional world and needed services.

Suppression: Formal and informal social control procedures, including close supervision and monitoring of gang-involved youth by agencies of the juvenile/criminal justice system and also by community-based agencies, schools, and grassroots groups.

Organizational Change and Development: Development and implementation of policies and procedures that result in the most effective use of available and potential resources, within and across agencies, to better address the gang problem.

  • The Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model has demonstrated effectiveness in multiple cities.
  • Researchers looked at six cities in the initial evaluation of the model; they compared youth and neighborhoods that received Comprehensive Gang Model programming with matched comparison groups of youth and neighborhoods that did not receive the programming. They found that the program was implemented with high fidelity in three of six sites (Chicago, IL, Riverside, CA, and Mesa, AZ). In these three sites, there were statistically significant reductions in gang violence, and in two of these sites, there were statistically significant reductions in drug-related offenses when compared with the control groups of youth and neighborhoods.
  • In a later evaluation of an adaption of the Comprehensive Gang Model in Los Angeles, CA the Gang Reduction Program, researchers concluded the program was effectively implemented to combat “traditional,” multigenerational, urban territorial gangs, and that the strongest concentrations of violent crime, or “hot spots,” diminished with statistical significance following CGM implementation.

In sum, the Comprehensive Gang Model has demonstrated evidence of its effectiveness in reducing gang violence when implemented with good program fidelity. Although the research to date has been primarily on the intervention and suppression components, the Comprehensive Gang Model holds promise for integrating prevention activities with intervention programs and suppression strategies.

Risk Factors

Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
Conduct disorders (authority conflict/rebellious/stubborn/disruptive/antisocial)
Early and persistent noncompliant behavior
Early dating/sexual activity/fatherhood
Early onset of aggression/violence
Exposure to firearm violence
Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity)
Gang involvement in adolescence
General delinquency involvement
High alcohol/drug use
Illegal gun ownership/carrying
Lack of guilt and empathy
Life stressors
Low intelligence quotient
Low perceived likelihood of being caught
Makes excuses for delinquent behavior (neutralization)
Medical/physical condition
Mental health problems
Physical violence/aggression
Poor refusal skills
Victim of child maltreatment
Victimization and exposure to violence
Violence at age 13
Violent victimization
Abusive parents
Antisocial parents
Broken home/changes in caretaker
Delinquent siblings
Family history of problem behavior/criminal involvement
Family poverty/low family socioeconomic status
Family violence (child maltreatment, partner violence, conflict)
Having a teenage mother
High parental stress/maternal depression
Lack of orderly and structured activities within the family
Low parental attachment to child/adolescent
Low parental education
Parent proviolent attitudes
Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and/or erratic discipline practices
Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)
Poor parent-child relations or communication
Sibling antisocial behavior
Unhappy parents
Frequent school transitions
Frequent truancy/absences/suspensions; expelled from school; dropping out of school
Identified as learning disabled
Low academic aspirations
Low achievement in school
Low math achievement test scores (males)
Low parent college expectations for child
Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school
Old for grade/repeated a grade
Poor school attitude/performance; academic failure
Poor student-teacher relations
Poorly defined rules and expectations for appropriate conduct
Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers
Student failure in the first grade
Unsafe schools
Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood
Availability of firearms
Community disorganization
Economic deprivation/poverty/residence in a disadvantaged neighborhood
Exposure to violence and racial prejudice
Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood
High-crime neighborhood
Low neighborhood attachment
Neighborhood antisocial environment
Neighborhood physical disorder
Neighborhood youth in trouble
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
Gang membership
Peer alcohol/drug use
Peer rejection


National Gang Center : Effective Program Structure

OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Promising Program

Crime Solutions: Promising Program


National Gang Center
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
Post Office Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317-2729
Phone: (850) 385-0600
Fax: (850) 386-5356
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/


Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems. (2008). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. http://www.ojjdp.gov/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=253257.

Cahill, M., & Hayeslip, D. (2010). Findings from the Evaluation of OJJDP's Gang Reduction Program. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Spergel, I. A. (1995). The Youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach. Oxford University Press: New York.

Spergel, I. A. (2007). Reducing Youth Gang Violence: The Little Village Gang Project in Chicago. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. Appendix A, p. 51.

Spergel, I. A.; Wa, K. M.; and Sosa, R. V. (2006). “The Comprehensive, Community-Wide, Gang Program Model: Success and Failure.” In J. F. Short and L. A. Hughes (eds.), Studying Youth Gangs. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, pp. 203–224.

Hayeslip, D., and Cahill, M. (2009). Community Collaboratives Addressing Youth Gangs: Final Evaluation Findings From the Gang Reduction Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Wyrick, P. (2006). “Gang Prevention: How to Make the ’Front End’ of Your Anti-Gang Effort Work.” United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, 54(3):52–60.

Date Created: April 7, 2021