An anti-gang mystery

Los Angeles Times
July 29, 2010

The whole point of establishing a new anti-gang program in Los Angeles two years ago was to finally be able to identify which strategies worked and which didn’t. The longstanding L.A. Bridges and the newer Bridges II programs were jettisoned precisely because no one had any way to determine whether they, and the millions of dollars paid to their gang-diversion and intervention contractors, were doing any good. The centerpiece of the new Gang Reduction and Youth Development program was to be a commitment to rigorous, transparent, scientific and verifiable evaluation.

So City Controller Wendy Greuel’s report, released Tuesday, is troubling. The new program has established a good foundation, the controller reported, but has failed so far to produce the kind of evaluation that was initially promised. Without evaluation, City Hall has little to show for its new approach to youth seduced or threatened by the gang lifestyle.

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