Gang violence continues to have a significant adverse impact on youth, families, and communities across America.
In 2012, there were an estimated 30,700 gangs, comprised of 850,000 gang members throughout 3,100 jurisdictions, according to the 2012 National Youth Gang Survey.
To address youth gangs, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supports research, evaluation, training and technical assistance, and programs that prevent and suppress gang violence and recruitment.
In Fiscal Year 2018, OJJDP allocated $8 million for anti-gang efforts, $5.6 million has been awarded and $2.4 million is pending award. In Fiscal Year 2019, OJJDP released applications for three gang-related funding opportunities: Supporting Victims of Gang Violence Grant Program, Youth Gang Desistance/Diversion Grant Program and the Youth Gang Suppression Implementation Grants Program. Funded projects will commence October 1, 2019.
The National Gang Center (NGC), jointly funded by OJJDP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, coordinates with federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems to address chronic and emerging gang problems. The NGC provides trainings and tools to help create comprehensive solutions to prevent gang violence, reduce gang involvement, and suppress gang‐related crime.
OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model provides a framework for coordinated action between law enforcement and citizens to improve a community's capacity to prevent youth from joining gangs and reduce street gang crime and violence. Built on more than 20 years of testing and implementation, the model combines prevention, intervention, and suppression tactics to tackle the root causes of gang violence and establishes an organized plan of action.
The model takes a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent youth gang violence using five core strategies: Community Mobilization, Opportunities Provision, Social Intervention, Suppression and Organizational Change and Development. Learn how communities are implementing the Comprehensive Gang Model to make their communities safer.
Law enforcement play a critical role in addressing gang problems. A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model is designed to help law enforcement with planning and implementation of the model.
OJJDP's Strategic Planning Tool (SPT) is another tool that helps communities assess their gang problem and provides planning strategies to address issues such as gang involvement and violence.
The SPT consists of interrelated components to provide users with a broad array of knowledge about gang behavior, strategies, best practices and research-based programs, as well as access to resource information for local action.
The NGC, with support from OJJDP, also developed additional resources. The Gangs in Schools Bulletin provides information on creating a school safety plan to prevent and disrupt gangs in schools. The National Gang Center video Why Youth Join Gangs features former gang members, researchers and practitioners and presents research on the behaviors and circumstances facing youth who are at a risk for joining a gang.
Recently, OJJDP and the NGC held a webinar on responding to gangs in schools. Leveraging information from the Gangs in Schools Bulletin, the training session highlighted the importance of using a collaborative approach between law enforcement and school administration. On September 20, 2019 during National Gang Violence Prevention Week, OJJDP and NGC hosted a webinar entitled Recognizing Gang Activity in Schools. OJJDP will announce additional gang-related webinars on this webpage and the events calendar.
- Assessing Your Community's Gang Problem
- A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model
- Gang Prosecution Manual
- Gangs in Schools Bulletin
- Highlights of the 2012 National Youth Gang Survey
- Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Gang Prevention
- Parents' Guide to Gangs: English | Spanish
- Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)
- Model Programs Guide: Gang Prevention
- National Institute of Justice's Gangs and Gang Crime page
- NCJRS Special Feature: Gangs
Access more gang-related resources on OJJDP's website by searching by the keyword "gang". Get updates on OJJDP's anti-gang and other efforts, by subscribing to OJJDP's bimonthly electronic newsletter OJJDP News @ a Glance and JUVJUST Listserv.