Gang paper I am going to talk
Gang Resistance Education and Training Program Alian Cruz CRJ 305: Crime Prevention Ann Meek 08 OCT, 2011 For my final paper I am going to talk about a program that in my eyes is a great way for our youth to receive different views and healthy choices when it comes to avoiding and confronting gangs or gang members. Gang Resistance Education and Training, abbreviated G. R. E.
A. T. , and provides a school-based, police officer instructed program that includes classroom instruction and various learning activities.The mission of the program is to provide a range of activities to our kids to keep them away from gangs or related activity as well as educate them on competency, usefulness, and personal empowerment which will prevent them from falling to the teeth of gang activity.
The program originally began as a nine lesson middle-school curriculum. In early 1992, the first G. R.
E. A. T Officer Program was conducted in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1993, due to its perceived success, the program was expanded nationwide and was congressionally supported as part of the ATF’s project outreach.During the duration of this paper, the reader will be able to understand what the program is all about as well as the goal of the program and the support that the program has received in the past. What is important after all is that in today’s society, we give our children the knowledge and the power to say no to gangs and teach them the right alternatives to choose from. Individuals react negatively to the phrase gang through personal experience, media, music, and movies; however, what individuals see depicted is not necessarily the entire truth behind gangs.
While a lack of consensus exists in identifying the sheer volume of the gang problem, many can easily identify and agree that a high rate of criminal activity exists among gangs and gang members (Esbensen & Osgood, 1999). Esbensen and Osgood (1999) state that in the 1990s gang membership and criminal activity of gangs had increased significantly. However, the question remains why are the number of gang members increasing even with information on how destructive gangs can be to an individual later on in life or how deadly they can be when faced with violence between rival gangs?One method of explaining the rise in activity is through social processing theories. Crime prevention programs that are student led tend to have a higher success rate.
These programs help make the community and its schools safer by giving youths an opportunity to take charge in improving the overall safety of his or her school. Student led programs also strengthen the social bonds discussed through social learning and control theories. The majority of youths and their parents feel that school should be considered safe for the child; however, in 1998, the U.S.
Department of Crime and Safety (2000) states that a student was two times more likely to become a victim of crime at school as opposed to his or her time away from school. The GREAT program is a nine week program that attempts to teach the youth methods of conflict resolution, cultural sensitivity, and the negative impact gangs have on life (Esbensen & Osgood, 1999). As the United States has progressed into the 21st century, one of the major problems identified in inner cities, smaller cities, and towns across the nation is gang violence.One may observe a connection between social learning theories and an individual’s interactions with local gangs. The goal of G. R.
E. A. T is to prevent youth crime, violence, and gang involvement while developing a positive relationship among law enforcement, families, and young people to create safer communities. G. R.
E. A. T is a program that is being exposed to our kids from Elementary school all the way through Middle school. The G. R. E. A.
T. elementary curriculum is a skills-based curriculum designed as a precursor to the middle school curriculum.This component establishes the foundation that prepares children for the intensified content and cooperation exercises taught in the middle school curriculum, while developing a positive bond between law enforcement and youth. The first important ingredient in the G. R. E. A.
T program is the instruction of life skills is the foundation of the program. The program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.In accordance with a study by Dr. Esbensen in 2000, delinquency often serves as a precursor to gang involvement, the GREAT program focuses on providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior and resorting to violence to solve problems. Communities need not have a gang problem in order to benefit from the program as its primary objective is prevention and is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. Reaching children at an earlier stage of development allows for a better transition into the middle school curriculum.
The G. R. E. A. T. Program consists of four components: a 13-session middle school curriculum, an elementary school curriculum, a summer program, and families training.
The Elementary curriculum has integrated National English Language Arts Standards and National Health Education Standards and is based on effective research practices. The G. R.
E. A. T.
elementary curriculum was designed for fourth and fifth grade students. Children who have aggressive behavior in the elementary school years are more likely to display antisocial and violent behavior as adolescents and young adults.By providing prevention programs to students in Elementary and Middle School, it is believed that such programs have a better chance of affecting the developmental course of the problem behavior. The G.
R. E. A. T. Elementary curriculum consists of six 30- to 45-minute lessons designed to be taught in sequence.
I agree with this foundation because by teaching our young kids the Do’s and Don’ts, they will start to lean towards what’s right and be able to recognize the signs to be able to walk away from pressure.I understand that small kids are still innocent with no malice but it is never too early to teach them not to let themselves be influenced by peer pressure. Some of the activities or lessons that are taught by the elementary level curriculum are We’re all in this Together, Loud and Clear, Staying Cool when the Heat Is On, and G. R.
E. A. T Days Ahead. As you can see from this list the kids are exposed to various topics that help them deal with gang related issues as well as violence control and prevention from an early age.
The lessons included in each curriculum are interactive and designed to allow students to practice positive behaviors that will remain with them during the remainder of their development years. The Middle School curriculum is a skills-based curriculum designed to produce knowledge and attitudinal and behavioral changes through the use of facilitative teaching, positive behavior rehearsal, cooperative and interactive learning techniques, and extended teacher activities. The curriculum has integrated National English Language Arts Standards and National Health Education Standards and is based on effective research practices.The G. R.
E. A. T. middle school curriculum was designed for middle school entry-level students in 6th or 7th grade. Taught in the classroom by specially trained, uniformed law enforcement officers, G. R.
E. A. T.
‘s violence prevention curriculum is a life-skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. The curriculum can be used in conjunction with other prevention programs encouraging positive relationships among the community, parents, schools, and law enforcement personnel. As you can determine, the Middle School G.R. E. A. T program goes more into detail and scenarios that can take place and helps the kid to identify the problem and gives them ways to fix the situation without violence.
At this level, the student should be able to have a solid foundation from the Elementary curriculum and should be ready to continue in the school system without any problems always thinking about the lessons learned during this training provided by the law enforcement agents for six to seven years. When we talk about this program we describe all of the things that are being taught but we have not mentioned the teachers.Without these devoted law enforcement officers the program would not be as accurate and successful as it is. The impact of the GREAT program on youth’s decision to join gangs is often measured as a comparison between GREAT program participants and peers of the participants who did not receive any guidance from the GREAT program (Esbensen ; Osgood, 1999). With these comparisons, researchers hope that positive results related to short term analysis will carry over and be effective over the long-term. Goals are an important aspect to the success of any crime prevention program.The program has some concerns even after the proven success of the trainers and the kids who go through it.
One concern of using GREAT is that the students, usually in the seventh grade, have already been exposed to most, if not all, of the topics covered in the program. Those in charge of the program still feel it is a valued tool in preventing crime. That is a very good observation because our youth tends to remember or learn most of their habits in their early years of school whether it is elementary or middle school. If they do something long enough, they will continue to think it is okay to keep doing it.While going through the program, the kids will learn that most of their influences in school and even some of the daily things that they do are not appropriate to do.
That is when the G. R. E. A.
T officers will step in and start molding the kids according to the program. Since the G. R. E. A.
T. Program went nationwide in 1992, many law enforcement agencies and schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U. S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Canada, Central America, England, and military bases in Japan and Germany have implemented the program. Currently, the G. R.
E. A. T.Program is delivered in over 500 communities across the United States. In order to maintain the integrity of the G. R.
E. A. T. Program, it is necessary to have a strong organizational structure to regulate decisions and program or curricula changes. A second essential ingredient to the Program’s success is the law enforcement agency’s commitment to allow the officer to interact with the children in the educational agency’s school the semester following training. G. R.
E. A. T. involves a great deal of personal commitment on the part of the officers. It begins with the intensive one-week or two-week training.The training will require many out-of-classroom hours for preparation.
All classroom sessions are mandatory for certification. Those who find that they cannot commit to every session need to reenroll for a future available training. Each training participant will be required to make several formal and informal presentations. Failure to meet minimum standards will result in non-certification. The officers must also have exemplary work history and records and should be confortable speaking to younger audiences about all kind of situations that can arise in one’s childhood. G.
R. E. A. T. as achieved great and expected positive results. Since the program started in 1991, 139,368 elementary students at 2,117 schools graduated from the program.
The evaluation survey was first administered to youths when they were in 7th grade and re-administered annually through 11th grade. Results show that G. R. E. A.
T. was able to successfully change several risk factors such as peer group associations and attitudes about gangs and risks associated with delinquency and gang membership. These resulted from G. R. E. A.
T. ’s focus on and encouragement of pro-social activities that lead youths away from involvement with delinquent eers and toward involvement with peers who exhibit more socially acceptable behavior. As for the future of this program I believe that the program will continue to grow stronger. I feel that the program should be started a little earlier in the childhood of our kids to build that solid foundation that would ultimately guide them through the tough years of middle school and carry them through their most challenging times of high school.
By doing so, the program will show a higher success rate and a lower failure rate when it comes times for the surveys.I would not mind if they would include in the future of the program certain community hands on experience whether it be as volunteers or riding along with the officers in charge of the program in order for the kids to realize how the city or the troubled kids or teens behave outside of school and making the kids see such events through the eyes of an outsider instead of explaining such things in a classroom. In conclusion, according to the results from the program, the students that have gone through it have shown a more positive attitude towards the police as well as a more positive attitude about police in classrooms.
While enrolled in G. R. E. A. T, the kids have developed a less positive attitude about gangs as well as the usage of refusal skills. For the GREAT program, the mission is to provide a range of activities in a structured environment to school children to help give each child a sense of competency, usefulness, and personal empowerment, all which should prevent the child from becoming a part of youth violence (Winfree, Lynskey, & Maupin, 1999).
Furthermore, they have shown more resistance to peer pressure as well as less use of hitting neutralizations.Finally they have shown less association with delinquent peers and less self-centeredness. Finally statistics show less anger incidents and a significantly low membership to gang’s affiliation.
Reference Page Elliott, Delbert, Norma J. Hatot, and Paul Sirovatka, eds. , Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General, Washington, DC Esbensen, FA 2000. Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement. Youth Gang Series.
Washington, DC www. nationalgangcenter. gov www. wikipedia. com/wiki/G.
R. E. A. T Wilson, John J.
, and James C. Howell, Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Offenders, Washington, DC