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Evaluation of the Bloomington-Normal Comprehensive Gang Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2001
446 pages

This report presents the methodology and findings of the evaluation of Bloomington-Normal's (Illinois) Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Program, which was part of the national evaluation of the model gang program promoted under grants from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).


The OJJDP model involved multiple agencies interactively addressing individual youth, family members, and gang peers. The five core model strategies were community mobilization, social intervention, provision of social opportunities, suppression/social control, and organizational change and development. The Bloomington-Normal twin cities, with a predominantly white middle-class population as of the 2000 U.S. Census, began to deal with an emerging gang problem in the early 1990's, defined primarily as a drug problem caused largely by gang members who migrated from Chicago. The gang project that received OJJDP funding for the implementation of its model was named Project OZ. Project OZ established a steering committee named Youth Impact, Inc., which consisted mainly of members of an existing task force created in 1990 to study gangs. It represented a wide array of governmental, private, nonprofit, criminal justice, social service, and business and religious organizations. Program priorities were determined primarily by probation and police, with less influence exercised by schools and youth outreach workers. Thus, the focus of the project was on gang suppression. The samples used for the project evaluation consisted of 101 program youth and 79 comparison youth. In the various analyses, change in different types of official arrests were the dependent variables in comparing program and comparison youth. When controlling for the mismatched delinquency backgrounds of youth in the two samples, the program had no effect on youth, particularly in terms of total arrests and various types of "other" arrests during the program period. This report notes that Project OZ, in emphasizing a one-dimensional suppression approach, did not conform to the OJJDP model. Extensive tables and figures, appended supplementary data and information, and 46 references

Date Published: October 1, 2001