Profile No. 58

Boston Community Centers' Streetworkers Program -- Boston, MA

Program Type or Federal Program Source:
Gang intervention and prevention program.

Program Goal:
To reach out to gang members, at-risk youth, and their families.

Specific Groups Targeted by the Strategy:
Gang members, youth, and their families.

Geographical Area Targeted by the Strategy:
Boston, MA.

Evaluated by:
Internal data collection.

Contact Information:
Tracy Litthcut, Unit Manager of Youth
Boston Community Centers
1010 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617­635­4920

Years of Operation:

The Streetworkers Program operates 24 hours a day through Boston Community Centers, city-funded agencies located throughout Boston (including in many middle and high schools). Thirty college-educated staff, ages 25 to 55, conduct gang and youth outreach activities engaging gang members in the streets and through home visits. The streetworkers advocate for gang members in the courts (when appropriate), help the probation department with supervision, mediate disputes and gang truces, and refer gang members and their families to existing government and community programs. Streetworkers also have played a critical role in Operation Ceasefire (see profile 21), personally inviting gang members to meetings with Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies to communicate a message of zero tolerance for firearm homicides.

The Streetworkers Program is one element of a collaborative, comprehensive strategy implemented in Boston to address escalating violent crime rates. For more detailed information on the Streetworkers Program, and a discussion of how it fits into Boston's overall crime reduction strategy, see profile 2, Boston Strategy to Prevent Youth Violence.

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