This is the executive summary for a report on the evaluation methodology and outcome for the U.S. Justice Department's Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, which is designed to support local communities in preventing and controlling gang-related crime.
The cities involved in the evaluation were Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Tampa, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Rochester, Raleigh/Durham, Chicago, Detroit, and a seven-city region in eastern Pennsylvania. Regarding outcomes, CAGI cities had a larger decline in violent crime than the comparison cities; however, the difference was not statistically significant. When level of implementation of enforcement was included, the high-enforcement CAGI cities had a 15-percent decline in violent crime, which was statistically significant. For the CAGI cities, higher levels of Federal prosecution for gun crime were negatively related to violent crime. Several key findings emerged from an analysis of CAGI implementation procedures. There was a consensus across the sites that CAGI had stimulated the development of new partnerships, mostly among criminal justice agencies. The most common enforcement strategies were increased Federal prosecution, increased State and local prosecution, joint case prosecution screening, and directed police patrols. The most common gang prevention strategies were education and outreach, school-based prevention, ex-offender outreach, and substance abuse treatment. The implementation of reentry interventions was the most challenging intervention, as most sites had difficulty in meeting target client numbers. The evaluation used a variety of methods, including site visits, phone interviews, mail surveys, video conference calls with project staff, and a review of progress reports submitted to the Justice Department. Local crime data were obtained from five of the cities, and city crime data were collected from all the jurisdictions and from comparable cities nationwide. Recommendations pertain to improved CAGI implementation and measures of gang-related crime. Study limitations are noted.
Date Published: July 1, 2012
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