The proposed model identifies key issues for conducting a community mobilization process to address the problem of youth gangs in a community, with a focus on the interrelationship of agency and grassroots efforts and the distinctive role of the coordinator or organizer.
Community mobilization refers to a process of consciousness-raising among community members regarding the need for a communitywide strategy to address a particular problem, notably violent juvenile gangs. Community mobilization usually begins with concern that a youth gang problem is emerging or that an existing problem is getting worse. The first step in community mobilization is for an agency executive or grassroots leader, with the sanction or support of a public authority, to convene a meeting of representatives of all major components of community institutions and organizations. The next step is to plan and implement a problem assessment, which identifies, based on factual and valid data, the nature and extent of the youth gang problem in the community. Existing resources and programs to deal with the problem must also be determined. A set of general strategies for addressing the problem must be developed, along with interagency and community group agreements. A promise of funding from public and private sources must be assured, followed by the development of a long-term implementation structure. Specific goals and objectives for the reduction or prevention of gang-related crime must then be selected and prioritized. The model also has various types of program structures and activities that must be developed. Major participants in the model are police, schools, youth service agency, grassroots organizations, and other criminal justice system actors.
Report (Technical Assistance)
Date Published: January 1, 1991