Increasing Gang Involvement : The Great Program ( Gang Resistance Education And Training )

Increasing Gang Involvement : The Great Program ( Gang Resistance Education And Training )

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It is very hard to grasp how many gangs there are in our towns and cities. Egley (2014) reports “In 2012, there were an estimated 30,700 gangs (an increase from 29,900 in 2011) and 850,000 gang members (an increase from 782,500 in 2011) throughout 3,100 jurisdictions with gang problems (down from 3,300 in 2011). The number of reported gang-related homicides increased 20 percent from 1,824 in 2011 to 2,363 in 2012” (p. 1). However we have to realize that there are also agencies and people out there that are giving their time and money in hopes to help prevent and stop individuals in joining gangs. With these increasing numbers, there is still hope that the programs that are out there can be successful and promising in the future years.
A program that has been very promising in reducing gang involvement is the GREAT program (Gang Resistance Education and Training). This program is used in schools across the United States and is taught by uniformed law officers to middle school aged kids in hopes to offer the kids real life tools to resist being lured into joining gangs. According to Esbensen (2000), “with a comparable group of students who had not participated in GREAT. The GREAT students self-reported less delinquency and had lower levels of gang affiliation, higher levels of school commitment, and greater commitment to prosocial peers, among other positive outcomes” (p. 7). The GREAT program teaches the students conflict management, how to deal with different cultures and prejudices and many more of the skills that are necessary to resist the peer pressure to join and be affiliated with gangs.
So many kids and teenagers have such rage in our society today. Not sure of the reason on this but I work in a school district and see ...

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... upon local, state and federal assistance to combat gang violence as well as provide viable alternatives to gang membership” (p. 1).
This program seems very strong and powerful, this program will work and it should be implemented into other cities that have high numbers of gangs. Matlock (2012) states “Violent gang crime is down in 2011 by 43% from 2009 and even lower (56%) for those gang assaults involving guns, and is a reversal of a three year upward trend that began in 2006. There were 53% fewer victims of gang violence in 2011 than there were two years earlier. Thirty active gang members did not have a single arrest or police contact after being introduced to the intervention efforts of Operation PeaceWorks, and the Cumulative number of arrests and police contacts by everyone that was involved in the program dropped tremendously” (p. 1).

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