Current education, prevention, and intervention strategies designed to meet the needs of youth gang members were explored. In this study, the effectiveness of specific strategies was assessed through interviews of current and former gang members enrolled in Portland (OR) high schools and staff members of the same schools. Representatives of local agencies that work in cooperation with the school system to address this problem were also interviewed. For reasons of accessibility, the study was focused on Black and Hispanic gangs in the Portland area but certain aspects of this research can be generalized to Black and Hispanic gangs statewide, based on established commonalities of all gang members. Several established gang awareness and prevention programs were reviewed and analyzed. The findings support the theory held by many educators that gang awareness and prevention programs need to be implemented at an earlier stage of the educational process.
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