September | October 2019

OJJDP Observes National Gang Violence Prevention Week

Photo depicting youth gang membersGangs are responsible for a significant portion of violence and crime in many localities, and studies of large urban samples reveal that gangs account for a major portion of violent offenses committed during the adolescent years. To highlight the administration’s commitment to addressing gang-related threats to public safety, President Donald Trump proclaimed September 15–21, 2019, as National Gang Violence Prevention Week.

OJJDP’s work to reduce gang violence and crime spans several decades and includes programs, research publications, and support of the National Gang Center (NGC). The center offers an array of resources and tools, including online trainings, informational videos, and information about OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model. The model focuses on the coordination of prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts guided by appropriate information-sharing protocols. It highlights a holistic approach that involves all agencies and organizations in the community that are responsible for addressing gang-related crime and violence. A recent blog by an OJJDP grantee describes how the Comprehensive Gang Model is helping young people who are being negatively impacted by gangs, violence, and other associated risk factors.

left quoteThe [Comprehensive Gang] 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. right quote

A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model

                                                         Because schools are an important part of community efforts to combat gang activity, OJJDP and NGC recently released Gangs in Schools, which discusses how to create a safety plan to prevent and disrupt gangs in schools. The guide recommends that law enforcement, school administrators and staff, and other key sectors of the community work together to develop a comprehensive plan that identifies effective, evidence-based strategies to address gang issues in the school environment.

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In August, OJJDP and NGC presented "Responding to Gangs in Schools: Creating a Collaborative Process Between Schools and Law Enforcement." The webinar discussed the importance of responding to gangs in a school setting, the specific roles of law enforcement and school administrators in developing partnerships to ensure school safety, and strategies to foster and sustain these partnerships. A followup webinar in September, "Recognizing Gang Activity in Schools," provided an overview of common gang identifiers and emphasized the importance of information sharing between school personnel and local law enforcement to ensure strategic planning and response.

In fiscal year (FY) 2019, OJJDP awarded $7.4 million to support communities as they work to deter and suppress gang activity and provide services and treatment to victims of gang-related violence and crime. FY 2019 programs include—

  • Youth Gang Desistance/Diversion Grant Program. Assists jurisdictions struggling with high levels of youth gang violence as they implement one or more components of OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model as part of a community- and data-driven desistance/diversion response to gang violence and crime.
  • Youth Gang Suppression Implementation Grants Program. Helps jurisdictions prevent or reduce gang violence through the implementation of suppression strategies outlined in OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model.
  • Supporting Victims of Gang Violence Grant Program. Provides direct support services for victims of gang violence and strengthens the responses to children and youth exposed to gang violence in their homes, schools, and communities.
  • National Gang Center. Disseminates information that empowers communities with chronic and emerging gang problems to create comprehensive solutions to gang violence, gang involvement, and gang-related crime.


OJJDP's new Gang Violence Prevention webpage and video offer information about OJJDP resources and programs that prevent and suppress gang violence and recruitment.

For more information about the National Gang Center, read the “Stakeholder’s Corner” article in this issue.

To learn more about research findings on gang activity and gang prevention, read the literature review in OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide. See also the guide’s evaluations of programs that address gang violence and crime.

A Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model provides information on how to effectively implement the model, including the importance of agency buy-in and collaboration with citizens and organizations to address both the immediate threat of youth gangs and the underlying conditions that allow them to exist.