¶ … Los Angeles' gang intervention initiatives. Program shortcomings as well as potential future improvements will be discussed.
Limitations of Gang Intervention Programs
The V2K helper foundation's efforts are targeted at adolescents and young adults (aged between 14 and 25 years). Initiated in 1997, the intervention's goals are providing counseling, anger management training, mentoring, life-skills education, parenting classes, and extracurricular activities like art programs, field trips, and sports. Trained personnel directly interact with people embroiled in criminal gangs to offer crisis intervention for defusing potentially violent scenarios, making peace between enemy gangs, and providing them with positive alternative options like employment, vocational training, treatment referral for alcohol/drug abuse, etc. (V2K Helper Foundation, n.d). Brotherhood for Independent Leadership through Discipline (B.U.I.L.D.) is a category 501c3 not-for-profit pro-social initiative for youth empowerment, providing a holistic program of self-discipline, direction, responsibility, and focus, directed...
G.R.A.C.E. endeavors to lower violence-causing tensions among ethnic groups; decrease gang violence as well as retaliation violence; improve public safety; increase resources for young adults and older adolescents at community centers, local parks, etc.; and expand prevention resources as well as resources for positive development of Los Angeles's youth (Gang Intervention, n.d).
Efforts of APUU in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, the main intervention program for members of gangs is APUU (Advocates for Peace and Urban Unity). Under its LTO (license to operate) banner, the APUU assists other prevention and intervention services on Los Angeles's City side and has strong collaborations, allowing them to work hand-in-hand. As authorities have now understood Westmont streets' "death rows," if intervention organizations receive appropriate resources and enough time, significant changes can be witnessed in about 6 years, in the area. Furthermore, decrease in violence occurs swiftly if resources are provided for helping any locality's youth.
Challenges of Current Programs
Watching the drug-injecting process, coupled with concentrating on isolating avenues for HCV/HIV exposure was the main reason behind striving for direct observations. Furthermore, attempts at interacting with gang youngsters in gang environments proved unsuccessful. Community and youth organizations invited investigators to numerous local sporting events and barbeques for attempting direct interaction. While some gang youth were approached at these events, they were non-responsive when asked about their involvement in risky activities, let alone their criminal lives. Furthermore, gang specialists often advise social workers not to directly confront or observe gangsters, the rationale behind this recommendation being that they will hesitate to share their guilty personal experiences with people who are literally strangers to them. Also, intervention organizations may be viewed with suspicion by gang members, who may feel investigators are plain-clothes policemen who are a threat to their activities and lives (Sanders et al., 2010).
Flaws in Intervention Programs
A study by an intervention organization could not effectively obtain the required variability in sample age, ethnicity/race, and gender. Of the sixty youngsters interviewed, females constituted only 10%, with 18.3% of them aged from 20-25 years. Most of them were Latinos or African-American, while some were identified as Caucasian/African-American or Caucasian/Latino. Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islanders weren't included in the study for the…
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Risk factors are often found in clusters and their cumulative effect may lead to a greater probability that youth will become involved in crime (Garbarino, 1999). As a result then, there are not one or two factors that could cause someone to join a gang, but rather a collection of factors (Garbarino). It is possible then, by eliminating even one factor among the cluster, that programs could reduce gang