U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

From Boston to Boyle Heights: The Process and Prospects of a "Pulling Levers" Strategy in a Los Angeles Barrio (From Policing Gangs and Youth Violence, P 102-130, 2003, Scott H. Decker, ed. -- See NCJ-201783)

NCJ Number
Date Published
29 pages
In describing the approach used to address youth violence in Los Angeles, the problems encountered, and the measures used to resolve them demonstrates many of the generic problems a researcher must consider when undertaking similar replications.
This case study demonstrates the importance of the problem solving approach when addressing crime patterns, as well as the need to develop violence-reduction strategies predicated on a clear analysis and understanding of the nature and causes of the violence being targeted. This chapter first briefly reviews the Boston Gun Project, whose features and proven effectiveness influenced the intervention adopted in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles replication of the Boston intervention is then described. The SARA model (scanning, analysis, response, assessment) is described as the strategy used in selecting the research site, identifying partners, defining the problem, and then designing an appropriate intervention. The analysis of the data showed that any strategy designed to counter gun violence had to deal specifically with the gun violence perpetrated by gang members. The elements of the violent gang culture were identified: youth, guns, and gangs. The selected intervention involved both intensified law enforcement and the provision of services and community-development components. The law enforcement and prevention aspects of the intervention are just now beginning, so there is very little that can be determined about its effectiveness; however, three types of data will be collected and analyzed: changes in official measures of violence, longitudinal surveys to measure changes in the perceptions and experiences of local residents regarding violence, and qualitative interviews with gang-intervention specialists and gang members to obtain their impressions of the project's effectiveness. 4 figures, 3 tables, 12 notes, and 23 references

Date Published: January 1, 2003