Crimesolutions.gov identifies the Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM) as a promising
practice to reduce gang and youth violence. The CGM requires communities to collaborate to reduce crime. Failure to realize CGM benefits have been shown to be primarily related to lack of organizational change. The purpose of the project is to test the results of an organizational intervention, in the form of relational coordination techniques, on CGM outcomes. In the wake of increased calls for collaborative efforts across the spectrum of crime and other social
problems, it is important to understand how organizational change can be positively facilitated.
Relational coordination theory suggests that better communication, coordination, and improved relationships are key ingredients to collaborative work. An action research quasi-experimental design is utilized wherein crime statistics and stakeholder perceptions are compared across four cities implementing the CGM, with two of those cities engaging in an organizational change intervention, and two control cities do not.
Researchers hypothesize that experimental sites will report stronger community capacity to address gang and youth violence and that gang and youth crime will be significantly reduced relative to pre-intervention levels and relative to the control sites. Time series, regression analyses, appreciative inquiry, and contribution analyses will be used to assess those hypotheses within and between sites. The project has two phases. Phase 1 (two years) consists of collecting pre-intervention data, testing an intervention, and assessing during and immediate postintervention data. An 18-month organizational change intervention, consisting of an intensive relational coordination workshop, followed by researcher coaching and support on implementing relational coordination techniques, will be provided to experimental sites. Phase 2 (1 year) consists of post-intervention data collection and analyses to examine sustained effects.
Expected products from this research are two to three peer-reviewed articles in top criminology and public administration journals; a white paper for the cities and state in which this experiment takes place; and two to three academic presentations and two practitioner research presentations. Researchers will provide interim reports and final reports to the funder for both phases of the project. Three datasets will be produced and sent to be archived at the
National Criminal Justice Data Archive: (a) relational coordination survey dataset (4 time periods total); (b) city arrests (5 years total two pre-intervention, 1 during intervention, 2 post intervention) and hours devoted to CGM programs dataset (3 years); and (c) community leader appreciative inquiry dataset.
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.