Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $997,351)
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) seeks funding to implement its Get It Straight Expansion Program. The City of Los Angeles (City) is the nations’ second largest with a population of over four million residents distributed over 468 square miles. The City, unfortunately referred to as the “gang capital” of the nation, is the second most gang-infested city in the nation. There are more than 450 active gangs in the City, many existing for over 50 years, with a combined membership of 45,000 individuals. The LAPD is the nation’s third largest police agency with 10,000 sworn and 2,800 civilian employees. Of LAPD’s 21 geographic areas, the Hollenbeck and Southwest Areas stand out for their high population density, high number of gangs and gang members, high truancy and/or dropout rates, and academic underachievement. These two areas encompass only 6% of the City’s area (28.31 of 468 square miles) but are home to nearly 17% (7,566) of total gang members in the City.
The LAPD, in partnership with Hollenbeck Police Activities League and University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, developed a comprehensive youth gang-reduction program called Get-It-Straight (GIS), focused on diversion, prevention, and intervention for youths ages 10-17 in the Hollenbeck Area. The 12-week program consists of intake and assessment, comprehensive case management, training, mental health services, healing circles, and school presentations. Parents are also required to attend a 10-week parenting skills training. Due to its successful pilot, the LAPD is proposing to expand the original initiative by implementing the GIS Expansion Program, which will enhance the program in the Hollenbeck Area and expand services to the Southwest Area. It is anticipated that 150 youth will complete the program.
The GIS Expansion program will convene a collaborative working group that will meet regularly throughout the program period to lead the project, identify and address service gaps and barriers, and use funding for a wide variety of prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies targeting those youth who are at highest risk of violence. In addition to Hollenbeck PAL, the LAPD-Hollenbeck and Southwest Divisions Gang Units and Diversion Coordinators, and USC-SSW faculty, the GIS working group will include the Regional Program Coordinator, Public Safety Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Office of Mayor Garcetti, the Deputy City Attorney, Neighborhood Prosecutor, for the Hollenbeck and Southwest Divisions, the LA County Probation Commission, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and Nonprofit groups, including Puente Learning Center and Victory Outreach.