News Items from UNC Greensboro

The Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships (CYFCP) has gathered data for a youth gang assessment for Guilford County as part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Gang Model. The assessment team released the full report on Sept. 30, representing the first essential step in the design and implementation of a community-wide strategic plan to address Guilford County’s youth gang problem.

CYFCP began working on the project in April of 2010. The assessment team was led by Dr. Kelly Graves, and included researchers such as Amanda Ireland, Jessica Benson, Kristen DiLuca, Korinne Chiu, Kristin Johnston, Lindsey Dunn, Shuntay McCoy and Dr. Stacy Sechrist. Their efforts involved researching the prevalence of specific risk factors for gang involvement in Guilford County and collaborating with local law enforcement agencies and the Guilford County school system to gather statistics on gang-related crime in the county and the level of violence and crime in the local school system. In addition, the CYFCP team administered surveys to community youth and adults across a variety of channels. Survey results were important in that they focused on the day-to-day perceptions that the Guilford County community holds regarding gang-activity in their neighborhoods, schools and daily lives — thereby providing a real pulse on the issue from community residents. CYFCP also conducted interviews with gang-involved youth in Guilford County which yielded unique first-person insights into gang life in the community.

The CYFCP gang assessment will guide the next step of the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model, which is the development of a strategic plan for prevention, intervention and suppression activities related to youth gang violence in Guilford County. According to the model, this next stage will be to coordinate strategies and policy decisions to reduce youth gang activity in Guilford County.

In addition to this project, CYFCP has various ongoing projects which address the impact of violence and trauma in the community in an effort to shape action, increase community safety and promote well-being.

The Guilford County gang assessment was conducted in partnership with a steering committee, including Youth Focus, Inc., One Step Further, Inc., and Guilford County Court Alternatives. Additional key partners included the local Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC), Greensboro Police Department, High Point Police Department, Guilford County Sherriff’s Office, Guilford County School, students and staff, community residents, parents and youth, current and ex-gang members, as well as an array of youth-serving community organizations.

To view this report, visit http://www.uncg.edu/csr/news.html.

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