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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Gang Assessment (4-4-11)

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Gang Assessment (4-4-11)






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  • Therefore we talked with elementary, middle, and high school teachers, students, administrators, pastors, college students, and other program administrators focused on or that deal with youth and young adults.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Gang Assessment (4-4-11) Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Gang Assessment (4-4-11) Presentation Transcript

  • Winston Salem/Forsyth County Gang Impact Assessment
    Report Presentation
    Alvin Atkinson
    April 4, 2011
  • 2
    Purpose of the Assessment
    • Identify the most serious and prevalent gang-related problems
    • Determine potential factors contributing to gang problems
    • Identify target group(s) for prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts
  • 3
    Purpose of the Assessment cont’d
    • Shape community mobilization efforts and identify community members who should be involved
    • Identify various organizational or systems issues that must be addressed to have a long-term effect on the problem
    • Identify current efforts to address gangs and gang-involved youth
  • 4
    Winston Salem/Forsyth County Gang Impact Assessment
    Assessment Team
    John Eason, PhD Lead Project Researcher
    Arizona State University
    Doris Paez, PhD Project Researcher-Making It Pronto
    Forsyth Futures Youth Gangs Initiascape
    Solomon Quick Gang Reduction Coordinator
    City of Winston-Salem
    Rick Pender, Assessment Coordinators
    Alvin Atkinson
    The Center for Community Safety
  • 5
    Research Questions
    Is there a gang presence in the greater Winston-Salem area?
    What impact, if any, do gangs have on the community?
    What are the best practices and strategies to address at risk youth?
  • Research Design
    Our approach was to use the networks of the JCPC in conducting a convenience sample survey.
    To overcome potential language barriers and access the Hispanic population Forsyth Futures engaged and led a survey team with Making It Work Pronto!
    We also used focus groups to compliment the breadth of the survey instruments by adding an in-depth look into the vantage point of select groups.
  • 7
    Research Design
    • This approach is based on the belief that “a truth” or some sense of objective reality about gangs in the greater Winston-Salem community lies between the official police statistics and the perceptions of different segments of the community.
    • Because youth and young adults are most likely to be gang involved our study targeted professionals and other groups that come in contact most with youth and young adults.
  • 8
    • WSPD Gang Validation Statistics
    • Gang Validated
    • Gang Affiliated,
    • Gang Crime
    • The Gang Impact Assessment Survey
    • Focus Groups
    • Ministerial Alliance
    • Teachers
    • Formerly gang involved youth and young adults
  • 9
    The Gang Impact Assessment Survey
    • Many of the community partners that participated in the survey were also direct stakeholders in the process.
    • Working with the central administrative office of the Winston Salem Public School District surveys were hand delivered to all 41 elementary schools, 17 middle schools, and 11 high schools. We collected surveys from 7 elementary, 6 middle schools, and 2 high schools for a sample size of n= 389.
    • We also surveyed 26 WSFC Social Workers from different schools.
  • 10
    WSPD Gang Demographics 2010
    • As of January, 2010 there are 603 Validated Gang Members in Forsyth County
    • 52% Hispanic
    • 39% Black
    • 8% White
  • 11
    WSPD Gang Crimes
    By the end of the year 2009 there were 362 offenses committed by validated gang members.
    Vandalism accounted for most crime committed by gang member (42% of all gang crime)
    Violent crime was very rare (e.g. 3 murders total).
  • 12
    2008 Gang Vandalism Offenses
  • 13
    Survey Results
    • Do you feel safer in your school than you did two years ago?
    • Elementary Teachers= 56%
    • Middle School Teachers= 42%
    • High School Teachers= 33%
    • Do you think there are youth street gangs in your school?
    • Elementary Teachers= 59%
    • Middle School Teachers= 92%
    • High School Teachers= 92%
  • 14
    Survey Results
    Do gangs present a problem in your school?
    Elementary Teachers= 37%
    Middle School Teachers= 50%
    High School Teachers= 69%
    In the past year gang activity has increased in my school.
    Elementary Teachers= 28%
    Middle School Teachers= 30%
    High School Teachers= 47%
  • 15
    Survey Results
    • In the past year gang activity has decreased in my school.
    • Elementary Teachers= 13%
    • Middle Teachers= 17%
    • High School Teachers= 12%
    • In the past year gang activity has stayed the same in my school.
    • Elementary Teachers= 59%
    • Middle Teachers= 18%
    • High School Teachers= 59%
  • 16
    Survey Results
    • Many felt that it was best to deal with gang members through the criminal justice system.
    • Most also felt that disadvantaged homes and neighborhoods were the reasons gangs were present in their schools.
    • The majority of respondents felt that the police officers were best equipped to deal with gangs and gang activity.
  • 17
    Ministers Focus Groups
    • Ministers felt strongly that there were not enough activities for youth.
    • Ministers felt that cancelling middle school sports is an example of a diminished resource.
    • Overall ministers felt there was an increase in funding to address violence.
    • However, this increase was met with a decrease in funding of core issues driving violence like poverty.
  • 18
    Teachers Focus Group
    Teachers felt that gangs had a huge impact on schools. Specifically, the drop-out rate.
    “We’re just beginning but we’re sure that gangs have an effect”.
    They believe that all adults should be responsible for addressing at risk youth.
  • 19
    Former Gang Member Focus Group
    • Former gang members biggest problem was leaving the gang: “your gang rep will follow you”.
    • All gangs are not the same. Older former gang affiliates saw gangs as more of a social club. Young former affiliates thought “it was about the $”. This showed a generation gap.
    • Black gangs are not as united or organized as Hispanic gangs.
    • You don’t have to be a “real” thug to be in with the local neighborhood gang.
  • 20
    Hispanic Community Perspectives
    Consistent and some increased concern with gang activity and links with current neighborhood crimes suggest that the Hispanic residents are aware.
    The concern, particularly by females, regarding the young people not in school during the day.
    Gun involved crime concerns affords an opportunity for crime prevention initiatives.
  • 21
    Winston Salem/Forsyth County Gang Impact Assessment
    Other Considerations/Actions:
    • Convened Gang Reduction Summit on
    September 15, 2010 to identify target group(s) for prevention and intervention
    Completion of Youth Gang Initiascape* to identify current efforts to address gangs and gang-involved youth (*Courtesy of )