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Suppression Without Prevention, Prevention Without Suppression: Gang Intervention in St. Louis (From Policing Gangs and Youth Violence, P 191-213, 2003, Scott H. Decker, ed. -- See NCJ-201783)

NCJ Number
Scott H. Decker Ph.D.; G. David Curry Ph.D.
Date Published
23 pages
This chapter traces the activities of two parallel but not intersecting gang interventions in St. Louis, a city with very high levels of gang-related youth violence; one intervention focuses on suppression and the other on prevention.
One intervention is the Anti-Gang Initiative (AGI), a suppression effort funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; and the other program is the SafeFutures program, a prevention approach funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The overall strategy of the AGI called for zero-tolerance enforcement against gang members in two target neighborhoods. SafeFutures programs are designed to incorporate suppression and opportunities for alternative activities and lifestyles for gang members or those at risk of becoming gang members. The intervention targeted high-risk neighborhoods. This chapter traces the evolution and impact of each program and notes the difficulties of merging two often-competing functions in the overall strategy to counter youth crime, delinquency, and gangs. The authors conclude, however, that by operating independently of one another, each of the programs missed the opportunity for the suppression approaches to benefit from prevention activities; prevention efforts, in turn, failed to build on the strengths of suppression. 5 tables, 3 notes, and 15 references