This is a process and impact evaluation of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI), which was implemented in 12 U.S. jurisdictions with the intent of reducing gun homicides, which the CAGI views as a gang-violence proxy.
The process portion of the evaluation found that the program components have been inconsistently implemented across cities and across program components. There was some evidence of a reduction in violent crime associated with increased levels of law enforcement; however, there was very little evidence of CAGI's impact on gun violence. These findings call for changes in program design and improved evaluation strategies. In addition to improvements in data collection (reliable and valid gang-crime measures, measures of risk level, and measures of program dosage and intensity), future programs may benefit from designs that focus on high-risk communities, places, groups, and contexts. Future large-scale gang prevention and control programs should develop a propensity-based set of cities with the highest rate of gun and gang homicide and violence. Specific components would target high-risk places, gangs, groups, and individuals. The strategies that compose the CAGI include suppression, social intervention, organizational change, community mobilization, and social opportunities. Suppression strategies primarily involved law enforcement. Social intervention pertains to emergency measures, particularly in response to violence and personal crises. Organizational change seeks to create broad consensus about gang problems that will lead to an awareness of the gang problems in the community and mobilize efforts to address them. Community mobilization addresses the fundamental causes of gangs, and social opportunities focus on the expression of job prospects and educational placements. The evaluation documented the implementation and consistency of these CAGI components in relation to data on gun homicides. 6 tables, 13 notes, and 81 references
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