Gang Reduction Program (GRP)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 3 or more
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention
The Gang Reduction Program (GRP) is a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated approach to preventing and reducing gang activity. The GRP is the current iteration of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Gang ModelFootnote1 which is based on the Spergel model of gang intervention – an approach which states that gang problems result from the interaction of sociological, demographic, economic, and cultural factors along with social instability and lack of economic opportunity. The GRP is not a one-size-fits-all approach to gang prevention and reduction: it can and must be flexibly applied to different gang problems in different environments.
This program is centered on community mobilization; community supervision and aftercare; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; family therapy; leadership and youth development; and skills training.
The main goals of the GRP are to:
- Assess community needs, identify resources, and build a community capacity to deliver appropriate services based on identified risks of youth, families and community members, including gang members.
The GRP was designed primarily for use with young adult and teenage gang members. Since the GRP is resource-intensive, the strategies implemented in the target community should address gang-involved youth or youth who exhibit multiple risk factors for gang involvement and their families, instead of all youth in the target area or community. The program also deals with gang members who are in contact with police and are in the criminal justice system.
The GRP can be used with “traditional”, multigenerational, urban territorial gangs as well as in sites where gangs are considered to be relatively new or recently emerging.
The GRP incorporates a multidisciplinary, five-pronged approach to gang reduction. The core components of this approach include the following:
- Primary prevention: Targets the entire population in high-crime, high-risk communities. The key component is a one-stop resource center that makes services accessible and visible to members of the community. Services includes prenatal and infant care, afterschool activities, truancy and dropout prevention, and job programs;
- Secondary prevention: Identifies youth at risk and draws on the resources of schools and community-based organizations. The aim is to intervene with appropriate services before early problem behaviours turn into serious delinquency and gang involvement;
- Intervention: Targets active gang members, close associates, and gang members returning from confinement. It involves aggressive outreach and recruitment activity to help gang-involved youth make positive choices;
- Suppression: Focuses on identifying the most dangerous and influential gang members and removing them from the community; and
- Re-entry: Targets serious offenders who are returning to the community after confinement and provides appropriate services and monitoring.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The lead organization should ensure proper analysis of community needs and knowledge of existing services, resources, and organizations available to youth at risk of gang involvement.
- Partnerships: The type of partnership will depend on the local context and resources. Organizations should recruit a range of partners to represent different community interests. For examples of local partnerships, consult the specific GRP program descriptive sheets.
- Training and technical assistance: Staff must be trained in the GRP approach. The National Gang Center in the United States provides training and technical assistance.
- Risk assessment tools: For information about risk assessment tools used by various adaptations of the GRP, consult the specific program descriptive sheets.
- Materials & resources: The implementation manual and other materials are available from the National Gang Center.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Promising
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
In total, from 2007 to 2020, 11 organizations will have been supported by Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy to implement a program based on the GRP; as of 2020, 1 organization is still implementing a program based on the GRP.
For more information about these local adaptations, refer to the specific program description.Footnote2
Programs are listed alphabetically:
- Abbotsford Comprehensive Community Action for Gang Reduction Project (Abbotsford Community Services) (British Columbia) (2013-2018) (process and outcome evaluation completed)
- Durham Youth Gang Strategy (DYGS) (Durham Family Court Clinic and the Murray McKinnon Foundation) (Ontario) (2007-2011) (process and outcome evaluation completed)
- Effective Community Response to Immigrant Youth Gang Crime Project (Centre for Newcomers) (Alberta) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- My Regent Park (Dixon Hall) (Ontario) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- Surrey Gang Reduction Program (The Board of Education of School District #36) (British Columbia) (2015-2020) (performance monitoring and assessment in progress)
- Table Gangs de rue de Laval : pour un meilleur service des jeunes à risque et affiliés aux gangs (Société de criminologie du Québec) (Québec) (2014-2019) (performance monitoring and assessment completed)
- Waterloo Regional Gang Prevention Project (Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Social Services, Social Planning, Policy and Program Administration) (Ontario) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- Winnipeg YGPF Projects - Just TV (Broadway Neighbourhood Centre) (Manitoba) (2007-2012) (process and outcome evaluation completed)
- Winnipeg YGPF Projects - Project OASIS (New Directions) (Manitoba) (2007-2012) (process and outcome evaluation completed)
- Winnipeg YGPF Projects - Turning the Tides (Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. - Ndinawe) (Manitoba) (2007-2012) (process and outcome evaluation completed)
- Youth at Risk Development – Hamilton (YARD Hamilton) (John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington and Area) (Ontario) (2013-2018) (process and outcome evaluation completed).
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
For main outcome findings pertaining to particular adaptations of the GRP, consult the specific program descriptive sheets.
For the cost information pertaining to particular adaptations of the GRP, consult the specific program descriptive sheets.
For references pertaining to particular adaptations of the GRP, consult the specific program descriptive sheets.
For more information on this program, contact:
National Gang Center
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
P.O. Box 12729
Tallahassee, Florida 32317
Telephone: (850) 385-0600
Record Updated On - 2021-05-14
The Gang Reduction Program (GRP), also known as the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model, allows for some flexibility in the way it is implemented and adapted to fit local needs, resources and specific crime issues. Indeed, GRP is not a “one size fits all” or a manualized program; rather it should be considered as a general crime prevention approach. For this reason, GRP is briefly described here. To obtain detailed information on how GRP has been adapted and implemented in local Canadian communities, please refer to the specific program descriptive sheets listed below.
Please note that no program description is provided for programs that have only a process evaluation or a performance monitoring and assessment (PMA). For more information about these programs, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.
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