Community responses, of course, vary. In Carson city, part of L.A. County, for example, the Sheriff’s department in collaboration with community-based organizations, implemented the Gang Diversion Team (GDT), an intervention plan focused on at-risk youth and their families. The program operates a four tier intervention model working with both high and low risk youth. This includes monthly partner meetings to discuss each case, case management, and client incentives. The program has had the greatest success with mid-level risk youth. High risk youth respond best to the faith-based programming.
Ethnography is a field research approach used in the social sciences that relies on participant-observer strategies, surveys and interviews to collect direct data on human subjects in their natural settings (work, community, family, etc). It has been used successfully in the study of street gangs and drug crews to compliment more traditional data gathering approaches. During the conference many suggested that ethnography was under-utilized in gang research. David Kennedy recommended that anyone trying to learn or do work around youth gangs should read “Who You Claim: Performing Gang Identity in School and on the streets” by Robert Garot. Other good books to read include Code of the Streets, by Dr. Elijah Anderson, and The Cocaine Kids, by Terry Williams.