Project #43768 - na

I need two seperate 250 word responses to the text below. No format needed as it will go into a forum.

 

I chose to research the G.R.E.A.T. program, or gang resistance education and training. The goal of this program is to educate school aged children about gangs and prevent gang membership, delinquency and youth violence. The program is taught by Law Enforcement personnel and has programs geared towards elementary and middle school aged children (National Gang Center, 2014). While participating in an internship through a local agency, I was lucky enough to participate in one of the G.R.E.A.T. trainings at a elementary school setting. The main goal at that age with the G.R.E.A.T. program was to create a working relationship between the law enforcement officer and the children. In the area that we were in, many of the children's parents and older siblings took part in criminal activities and were active gang members. That being said, the children were taught that police were not their friends. While taking part in the program, I observed children ask questions and get excited about seeing the police officer who came in to talk to them each week. By establishing a positive relationship at a young age, the stigma about police that is impressed upon the children in areas where gangs are prominent is changed. At the end of each G.R.E.A.T. session, a letter is sent home to the parents of the child explaining the lesson for that day. This is done in hopes to create parental involvement in the program and positive discussion between parent and child (National Gang Center, 2014).

The statistics on success of the G.R.E.A.T. program are non-existent. I was unable to locate a credible source that outlined if this program is successful. I can say from personal experience however that the children were very responsive to the police officer who was running the program during my internship. While it was very hard to keep the children on track when talking about the danger of gangs and gang violence, the children were very excited to ask questions about police and the items on the officer's belt. While the program's goal is to prevent gang membership, it also is to develop positive relationships between children and police. I can not say without a doubt however that these children of parents who were or are gang members would be swayed from following in their parents footsteps however I think the effort is certainly worth it.

The G.R.E.A.T. program is set up in a way that officers and departments who are interested in participating in the program can send a department representative to learn how the program operates and to become certified as a G.R.E.A.T. instructor. I believe that in areas where there is a high gang membership, it is possible that at the elementary level to be successful. I believe however that at the middle school level, a lot of children who are going to be involved in gangs may already have been exposed through their family members and therefore the program would prove to be much less effective. From what I have personally seen, I believe that the only way for this program to be successful is to implement it at an early age (during elementary school) much like D.A.R.E. is implemented typically in the 5th grade before children become exposed to these issues.  

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Due By (Pacific Time) 10/15/2014 12:00 am
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