Reference: Esbensen, F-A. (2002). National evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
Strategy: Police-led programs for gang prevention
Z-axis: Highly Proactive
Results from the cross-sectional study indicated that students completing the G.R.E.A.T. program were less likely to join gangs. The longitudinal study, however, failed to find such a programmatic effect. Both of the student outcome studies found that students participating in the G.R.E.A.T. program did express more pro-social attitudes (including more positive attitudes to the police) and more unfavorable attitudes about gangs than did students not participating in the program.
Methodological Rigor: Moderate- weak comparison group
Abstract: (from NCJRS) This manual contains an evaluation report of one school-based gang prevention program, the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.), in which law enforcement officers teach a 9-week curriculum to middle school students. This research brief reports on a program which has three primary objectives: to reduce gang activity, to educate young people about the consequences of gang involvement, and to improve young people's attitudes and perceptions about the police. The evaluation was conducted from October of 1994 through December of 2001, by means of a process evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness of G.R.E.A.T., measuring attitudinal and behavioral consequences. A cross-sectional study was conducted of 5,935 eighth grade students in 11 cities, and a 5-year longitudinal, quasi-experimental panel study was conducted in 6 cities. Additionally, parents, teachers, and law enforcement officers were surveyed for their attitudes toward school-based prevention programs in general and the G.R.E.A.T. program specifically. A summary statement reports that the cross-sectional study indicated that students completing the G.R.E.A.T. program were less likely to join gangs, but the longitudinal study failed to find such a programmatic effect. However, student outcome studies found that students did express more pro-social attitudes, including toward the police, and more unfavorable attitudes toward gangs than did those not participating in the program. Teachers, parents, and law enforcement officers showed a high level of support for the G.R.E.A.T. program.