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Changing Course: What's in the Book?

Date Published
December 1, 2013

Sidebar to the article Changing Course: Keeping Kids Out of Gangs by Nancy Ritter, Thomas R. Simon, Ph.D., and Reshma R. Mahendra, M.P.H.

The chapters in Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership are written in plain English and share these common features to help readers see the most critical information up front and begin to connect research with real-world applications:

  • Key principles are presented in short, bulleted form.
  • An "In Brief" summary pulls together key findings and ideas.
  • A Q&A interview with a practitioner ("In the Spotlight") offers a personalized illustration.
  • Implementation challenges are explored.
  • Policy issues are discussed.

In addition to an introduction and conclusion by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 11 chapters:

  • Why Is Gang Membership Prevention Important? by Dr. James C. ("Buddy") Howell
  • How Should We Reduce the Attraction of Gangs? by Dr. Carl S. Taylor and Ms. Pamela R. Smith
  • How Should We Identify Youth at Risk for Joining Gangs? by Dr. Nancy G. Guerra, Ms. Carly B. Dierkhising and Dr. Pedro R. Payne
  • What Should Public Health Professionals Do to Prevent Gang Membership? by Dr. Tamara M. Haegerich, Dr. James A. Mercy and Ms. Billie P. Weiss
  • What Is the Role of Police in Preventing Gang Membership? by Dr. Scott H. Decker
  • What Should Be Done in the Family to Prevent Gang Membership? by Dr. Deborah Gorman-Smith, Ms. Kimberly Bromann Cassel and Ms. Andrea Kampfner
  • What Should Be Done in the Schools to Prevent Gang Membership? by Dr. Gary D. Gottfredson
  • What Should Be Done in the Communities to Prevent Gang Membership? by Dr. Jorja Leap
  • How Should We Prevent Girls From Joining Gangs? by Dr. Meda Chesney-Lind
  • How Do Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Influence Gang Membership? by Drs. Adrienne Freng and Terrance J. Taylor
  • Program Evaluation: How Do We Know If We Are Preventing Gang Membership? by Drs. Finn Esbensen and Kristy N. Matsuda

"In the Spotlight" sections feature interviews with these practitioners:

  • Anthony Holt, chief of police and assistant vice president for community affairs at Wayne State University; Virgil Taylor, executive director of The Peace Project, a Detroit-based partnership; Tisha Johnson, with the Detroit-based Street-Side Development Academy; Yusuf Shakur, director with the Detroit-based Urban Youth Leadership Group and a former gang leader; and Michael Williams, president of the Detroit-based Orchards Children's Services
  • Sgt. Raul Vergara, Riverside County (Calif.) Gang Task Force (RCGTF), and Cmdr. Joe DelGuidice, RCGTF's assistant director and a member of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations
  • Connie Rice, civil rights lawyer and co-director of the Advancement Project
  • Joe Mollner, senior director of delinquency and gang initiatives for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Jan Hassan-Butera, program director, and Rhonda Jackson, clinical supervisor, with the New York City-based SCO Family of Services
  • Thomas W. Gore, president and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Associates for Renewal in Education (ARE) Public Charter School
  • Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries
  • Marian D. Daniel, founder of the Baltimore-based Female Intervention Team (FIT)

About This Article

This artice appeared in NIJ Journal Issue 273, March 2014, as a sidebar to the article Changing Course: Keeping Kids Out of Gangs by Nancy Ritter, Thomas R. Simon, Ph.D., and Reshma R. Mahendra, M.P.H.

Date Published: December 1, 2013