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Assessment of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative: Final Project Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
Edmund F. McGarrell, Nicholas Corsaro, Chris Melde, Natalie Hipple, Jennifer Cobbina, Timothy Bynum, Heather Perez
This report presents the methods and outcomes for the evaluation of the U.S. Justice Department’s Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI), whose goal is to support local communities in preventing and controlling gang 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 that did not implement CAGI; however, the difference was not statistically significant. When level of implementation of enforcement was included, the high-enforcement CAGI cities experienced 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 sties that CAGI had stimulated the development of a variety 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. At a minimum, greater attention must be given to effective implementation. Local CAGI officials recognized these challenges, and they recommended a planning period that would allow time for the establishment of effective partnerships before fully funding programs like CAGI. Also, greater attention should be given to developing reliable measures of gang crime at the local level. Federal funding agencies might make gang-crime data availability a prerequisite for receiving Federal funding for anti-gang programs. 28 tables, 14 figures 98 references, and appended evaluation instruments
Date Created: February 3, 2013