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Grassroots Organization Model

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
This paper presents a model of grassroots organization designed to counter the youth gang problem in communities.
Efforts of local grassroots organizations should be closely combined with those of criminal justice and social agencies to sustain an effective attack on the gang problem. The local organization serves in various ways to connect the individual, family, and even gang members with the norms, values, and resources of the larger society. The grassroots organization should pursue a variety of strategies towards the end of stimulating and integrating individual citizen and community efforts to resolve the gang problem. These include community mobilization, organizational development and change, social intervention, opportunities provision, and suppression. The implementation of these strategies and objectives constitutes the work of the grassroots organization. Staff and volunteers should be trained to have a common understanding of the key characteristics of a gang, gang members, and gang incident. Attention should also be given to the genesis of gang problems and the extent to which community conditions contribute to the problem. Techniques for working with gang youth, their parents, and community agencies should also be addressed in training. Evaluation is necessary for determining the effectiveness of various grassroots projects and strategies.

Date Published: January 1, 1991