Gang and youth violence knows no bounds. It occurs in rural and suburban areas as well as cities, and it crosses all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic lines. At the same time, local anti-gang efforts vary widely by city and jurisdiction, and many smaller communities are struggling to respond to a problem that is as complex as it is common.
That's why CCYJ is convening a Suburban King County Coordinating Council on Gangs, made up key decision makers, including mayors, police chiefs, school superintendents and juvenile-justice leaders. The Council will assess the scope of the problem in South and East King County and develop a master plan that brings together efforts in prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry.
"The Council will encourage community organizations, schools, law enforcement and local government agencies to work together to develop policies and strategies that reflect the current landscape of youth violence and utilize the best information and practices available," says Project Coordinator Daniel Carew.
Gang involvement often goes hand in hand with other issues, including drug and alcohol abuse, anti-social attitudes, and histories of trauma and violence.
"Helping youth avoid and break free of gangs requires a comprehensive and holistic approach," Daniel says. "Research has shown that you can't arrest your way out of this problem."