U.S. flag

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

Outlook Is G.R.E.A.T.: What Educators Say About School-Based Prevention and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2004
28 pages
This article reports on the findings of a survey of administrators, counselors, and teachers from middle schools involved in the National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program, whose stated goals are to reduce gang activity and teach students about the negative consequences of gang involvement.
The findings indicate that G.R.E.A.T. was generally received and evaluated positively by the middle school administrators, teachers, and counselors who responded to the survey (n=650 usable questionnaires). These positive attitudes were unrelated to respondents' familiarity with the program. The majority of school personnel agreed that the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum appealed to students and was appropriate to their age and comprehension levels. They also agreed that the program produced positive results in terms of teaching students skills in avoiding gang and delinquency involvement, improving their attitude toward police officers, and addressing problems students face. Despite these favorable perceptions, however, there was less agreement about whether the program had actually reduced gang participation. This is consistent with findings from the longitudinal student surveys (an evaluation tool not examined in depth in this article), which found no significant reduction in gang or delinquency participation for G.R.E.A.T. participants. School personnel who described crime in the neighborhoods surrounding their schools as largely gang-related were significantly more likely than those who did not hold this view to report that the G.R.E.A.T. program had not reduced gangs in the neighborhood. The findings suggest that even if school and law enforcement prevention partnerships are well-received by school personnel, they are only effective if well-implemented as part of a comprehensive, multifaceted approach for reducing youth gang and delinquency involvement. 3 tables, 11 notes, 24 references, and appended questionnaire

Date Published: June 1, 2004