It’s About Time: Prevention and Intervention Services for Gang-Affiliated Girls
Although a substantial number of girls are involved with gangs, gang prevention and intervention services are not designed with girls in mind. As Kevin Grant, a service provider working with girls in gangs, notes, “A lot of the [gang prevention and intervention] programs that are available do not fully support the needs of girls in gangs.” Girls in gangs require services that respond to their unique experiences and needs. In response to this service gap, NCCD wrote “It’s About Time: Prevention and Intervention Services for Gang-Affiliated Girls,” NCCD’s recent publication of Focus.
Written by Dr. Angela Wolf, associate director of research, and Livier Gutierrez, research associate, this Focus issue highlights the vulnerabilities and consequences of gang involvement for girls, the service needs of girls in gangs and girls at risk of joining gangs, as well as the importance of addressing these service needs as a critical gang violence-prevention strategy. The publication also provides examples of how various programs across California are currently addressing the gender-specific service needs of girls involved in gangs.
Focus weaves the latest literature on girls and gangs with interviews of service providers from various programs across California to identify the gender-specific service needs of girls involved in gangs and girls at risk of joining gangs. While the research suggests girls require a general need for prevention and intervention services that address their unique experiences, service providers note that girls’ service needs diverge depending on their level of gang involvement—whether girls are in gangs or at risk of joining gangs—and whether or not girls are detained in juvenile halls. NCCD’s Focus publication disaggregates these service needs and finds that:
- The service needs of girls in gangs and girls at risk of gang involvement include life skill classes, mentorship, and peer support;
- Girls in gangs require services that support gang desistance and address histories of sexual abuse; and
- Girls detained in juvenile halls require legal education services, recidivism prevention, and creative therapeutic services.
The Focus publication also provides examples of the different ways service providers and their respective organizations are addressing girls’ service needs across California. The organizations featured in this Focus include Girls & Gangs, Kevin Grant Consulting, Barrios Unidos, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, and Stockton’s Operation Peacekeeper.
To read this Focus, please click here.
This is a good article regarding girl gangs. I just finished watching a great documentary about Brooke Taylor, one of the most prominent gang leaders [fyi you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K51RR5pHMzY ], and the need for help is very apparent. The FOCUS publication seems to beneficial for this.