Clearinghouse Resource


OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model: Planning for Implementation


Institute for Intergovernmental Research,Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Washington, DC: Institute for Intergovernmental Research

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

June 2002, 83 pages

Description of Resource

"The terms "youth gang" and "street gang" are commonly used interchangeably and refer to neighborhood or street-based youth groups that are made up substantially of individuals under the age of 24. While youth in this age group are most likely to be engaged in or at risk of committing serious or violent gang crimes, the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model focuses primarily on youth gang members less than 22 years of age, based on OJJDP's authorizing legislation. Motorcycle gangs, prison gangs, ideological gangs, and hate groups comprised primarily of adults are excluded from the definition. The Model holds that the lack of social opportunities available to this population and the degree of social disorganization present in a community largely account for its youth gang problem. The Model also suggests other contributing factors including poverty, institutional racism, deficiencies in social policies, and a lack of or misdirected social controls. Drawing principally on social disorganization theory to frame the development of the Model, a team from the University of Chicago expected the core strategies of the Model to address gang youth, their families, and the community institutions that purport to promote their transition from adolescence to productive members of society. With this in mind, law enforcement and other agency personnel in 65 cities reporting problems with gangs were surveyed. Analysis of that information, in conjunction with site visits and focus groups, led to a mix of five strategies that address key concerns raised by the theory upon which the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model is based." - Publisher's description