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Gang Resistance Educations and Training (GREAT): Results From the National Evaluation

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: April 1999 Pages: 194-225
Date Published
32 pages

This article reports the results of the National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, a school-based gang prevention program in which uniformed police officers teach a 9-week curriculum to middle-school students.


The stated objectives of the program are to reduce gang activity and to educate youth about the consequences of gang involvement. The curriculum consists of nine lessons offered once a week to middle-school students, primarily seventh graders. Officers implement detailed lesson plans that cover such topics as conflict resolution, goal setting, and resisting peer pressure. Discussion about gangs and their effects on the quality of people's lives are also included. The evaluation's outcome analysis was based on a cross-sectional survey completed in the spring of 1995. Two ex-post facto comparison groups were created to provide for assessment of the effectiveness of the GREAT program. A 1-year follow-up was selected because measurable program effects should be most likely over a shorter time span. Results from a survey of 5,935 eighth-grade students in 11 sites show that students who completed the program had more prosocial attitudes and lower rates of some types of delinquent behavior than did students in the comparison group. Although the evaluation is limited to a cross-sectional design without random assignment, it gains internal validity from a low rate of sample attrition and from comparable treatment and comparison groups. The geographically dispersed and demographically diverse research sites support the external validity of the study as well. 4 tables, appended attitudinal measures and summary scale characteristics, 7 notes, and 65 references

Date Published: January 1, 1999