On February 21, 2008 over 150 community leaders from throughout Fresno County came together to address gang activity. This began the development of the Fresno Countywide Gang Prevention Council.
Communities Represented: Biola, Caruthers, Clovis, Coalinga, Del Rey, Easton, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Laton, Mendota, Parlier, Prather, Reedley, Riverdale, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, as well as county, state, and federal representatives.
The meeting included a presentation from the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) on gang activity throughout the county. They highlighted the fact that the outlying areas of Fresno County, per capita, have higher concentrations of gang members then the metro area, and that prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts need to have a countywide focus. They were also able to highlight the collaborative suppression efforts happening due to MAGEC and the need for collaborative prevention and intervention efforts to make the county's focus complete.
I provided a presentation on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Comprehensive Gang Model (presentation below) as the county will look to institute an adapted version of the model. The OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model espouses a multifaceted, multilayered approach that includes eight critical elements:
Initial and continuous problem assessment using qualitative and quantitative data.
Targeting of the area and those populations of individuals most closely associated with the problem, as described in the assessment.
Mix of the five key strategies: community mobilization, social intervention, opportunities provision, suppression, and organizational change/development.
A Steering Committee to oversee and guide the project.
Direct contact intervention team that includes police, probation, outreach staff, and others.
A plan for coordinating efforts of and sharing appropriate information among those who work with the youth on a daily basis, the Steering Committee, and persons within the partner organizations.
Community capacity building to sustain the project and address issues that are long-term in nature.
Ongoing data collection and analysis to inform the process and evaluate its impact.
Lastly, participants broke up into small groups by geographic area throughout the county. Groups (or Community Action Teams) identified the current resources available in their communities and where the greatest needs or gaps in resources existed. Group notes are attached below. In addition groups identified a list of commitments they would make as next steps to address gang activity throughout the county (commitment list attached).
The most notable commitment made by every group was a continued commitment of their time to meet again. Comments from participants included that they had an opportunity to learn about what other agencies are doing and wanted more opportunities to talk and connect. They also stated that this was an important issue and appreciated a forum in which to address it.
Next steps from the convening will include a series of Community Action Team meetings in late March and early April in each of the geographic areas identified. Be on the look out for notice of an upcoming meeting in your area! To quote Tracie Cone's recent editorial in the Business Journal, who attended the convening, "The meeting was a start."
FresnoCo_GangPrevModel.pdf (2.37 mb)
Notes_AgenciesUnitedForChange.doc (50.50 kb); Notes_Crazy8.doc (51.50 kb); Notes_Group5.doc (60.00 kb) ; Notes_Magnificent7.doc (52.00 kb) ; Notes_NoName.doc (53.00 kb) ; Notes_Progressive Bureaucrats.doc (51.50 kb) ; Notes_TheGreen3.doc (52.50 kb)
Commitment Pledge.doc (29.00 kb)