According to the FBI’s most recent National Gang Report, street gangs continue to impact communities across the United States. Through drug trafficking, assault, robbery, and intimidation, gangs seek to maximize illicit profits and control territory nationwide. Underscoring the Administration’s ongoing commitment to combating this serious public safety threat, President Trump proclaimed September 20–26, 2020, as National Gang Violence Prevention Week.
For a quarter-century, the OJJDP-supported National Gang Center has been empowering communities to address gang violence and crime. The Center offers best practices, resources, training, strategic tools, and expertise to assist those who are working to prevent youth from joining gangs, intervene with those who are gang involved, and suppress criminal and violent street gang activity. Between fiscal years 2017 and 2019, OJJDP awarded $16.5 million to strengthen anti-gang initiatives throughout the country.
“Every child in America should enjoy a youth without any risk of falling victim to violence, drugs, or other harmful criminal acts that can destroy their future.”
—President Donald J. Trump
Proclamation on National Gang
Violence Prevention Week, 2020
The OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model provides a response to gangs on multiple levels by coordinating strategies among sectors such as law enforcement, education, criminal justice, social services, community-based agencies, outreach programs, and grassroots community groups. The Model has been tested with more than 20 years of implementation experience in communities large and small and has shown positive results in reducing serious gang-related crimes in affected communities.
The Office also funds programs to support youth victims of gang violence. Youth who experience violence are susceptible to behavioral and mental health challenges, including perpetrating violence in the future, substance use, depression, academic difficulties, and suicide. OJJDP funding helps service providers identify, treat, and seek justice for victims.
The OJJDP-funded Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program has been increasing trust between law enforcement and communities for more than 30 years. Taught by law enforcement officers, the school‐based curriculum focuses on prevention by providing life skills to at-risk students to help them avoid resorting to delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. In observance of this year’s National Gang Violence Prevention Week, The National Gang Center has posted a blog about how the G.R.E.A.T. program is making a difference for at-risk youth in Memphis, TN.
View OJJDP's In Focus page on gang violence prevention.
Learn more about OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model.
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