An Assessment of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative


Locate a recent criminal justice research article from a recognized peer-reviewed professional journal or government publication.

Note. Non-peer-reviewed newspaper articles or articles from popular magazines, such as Time or Newsweek, are not acceptable. For assistance on determining what constitutes a professional peer-reviewed resource, contact your facilitator.

Write a paper in which you address the following:
?Identify the purpose of the research study, problem, and questions.
?Describe the design of the study.
?Identify an operational definition used by the researchers.
?Identify whether the research study is a quantitative or qualitative design. Explain your answer.
?Identify the methodology, population, sampling methods, and return rate, if applicable.
?What were the findings of the study?
?Describe the author’s conclusions and recommendations.


An Assessment of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative

Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI) is an initiative that was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The purpose of the initiative is to support the efforts of the local communities in their efforts to prevent and control gang crime (McGarrell, et al., 2012). The initiative involved several cities security agencies and affiliated institutions in training the ex-prisoner beneficial techniques as they join the communities. A research was carried out by Michigan state university school of criminal justice, with the purpose to examine the CAGI strategies i.e. implementation and prevention, the impact they have on the level of gang-related crime as well as on the ex-prisoners.

The research study was carried out to evaluate the impact of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. It was purposely to assess how the implementation of this initiative in the community can be related to the rates of violent crime in the community. The report was also to cover the effect it had on former prisoners, exploiting what impact the program has made on their perspectives as they get back to the community.  The research purposed to establish whether the problem of increase in violent crime can be effectively eliminated by the proper implementation of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. The research questions that guided the researchers included (McGarrell, et al., 2012)

  1. What did participants like about the CAGI re-entry program?
  2. What did participants dislike about the CAGI re-entry program?
  • Would participants recommend the program to others?
  1. How can the program be improved to make it more helpful?

It was a descriptive and diagnostic research study. It is explained by the fact that the research was involved with describing the characteristic of the individuals, for example, the former prisoners in the re-entry program. The research is also diagnostic since it is concerned with establishing how the involvement of the initiative in the community has caused an impact on the level of the violent crime in the community. The researchers had a planned method of collecting data, i.e. through questionnaires, interviews, mailed surveys and site visits, the purpose is to ensure that there is a detailed and holistic assessment of every detail to provide an accurate result.

During every research procedure, it is imperative that the researchers identify the operational definition used in the study, these terms are crucial since they have an effect on the outcome and are as well used to define the variables. Crime beat from the research referred to patrol beat in which the crime occurs. Residence beat meant patrol beat in which the offender lives.  Gang-related crime meant any crime in which the offender and or the victim is identified as gang member according to the department’s gang identification criteria. Gang-motivated meant crime committed in the furtherance of the gang or at the behest of the gang. Motives include, but are not limited to; initiation, rank promotion, money, punishment and membership resistance. Tattoo refers to whether or not the offender displayed gang tattoos at the time of arrest. Colors refer to whether or not the offender displayed gang colors at the time of arrest (McGarrell, et al., 2012).

Qualitative design research

The research is a qualitative design. There is the use of an in-depth interview that was carried out the ex-criminals in different places with questions aimed at their view on the CAGI. The method employed was through semi-structured as well as the open-ended question which gave room for the considerable probing. The qualitative design aims at collecting data that can provide the holistic assessment of individuals involved. The employment of semi-structured guide ensures that the interviews carried are harmonious in content and format.  Every interview carried was well recorded and transcribed,  these were measures taken during the research to obtain quality data.

The data for the research was collected between the august and December 2010, with investigations carried out on 25 individuals through in-depth qualitative interviews. Out of the 25 interviewed seven were from Cleveland and had taken part in the CAGI programs the while the other 18 were drawn from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (McGarrell, et al., 2012). Participation in the research study was on a voluntary basis with the participants assured strict confidentiality. The convenience sampling method was used since most of the participant were contacted after they had left the various centers they were undergoing training through the CAGI programs.

In Cleveland, Ohio, participants were contacted through the director of Community Assessment and Treatment Services Providing Life Skills for Ultimate Sufficiency (CATS) who had several contacts of CAGI members who had completed the program (McGarrell, et al., 2012). In Milwaukee, Wisconsin the Probation and Parole Agent with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections was contacted since he had information of several members from the safe streets. A consent from was provided to those who were willing to take part early before the initiation of the interview. The interviews lasted between forty-five minutes and two hours. The data collected from the interviews were analyzed inductively depending on how participants perceived their lives.

The essential findings of the research were dependent on either it was an implementation or the prevention strategies. On implementation, it was noted that the CAGI had provided an avenue for the development of different levels of partnership, especially among the criminal justices agencies. It also facilitated increased enforcement strategies including joint case trial screening, federal prosecution, increased state and local prosecution, and directed police patrols. It also indicated an increased prevention strategies success especially the, school-based prevention, education and outreach, substance abuse treatment and ex-offender outreach. The only prevention technique that faced a challenge is the Re-entry interventions due to the challenges in meeting the target number of clients in each site.

The conclusion of the research indicated that in areas which had a proper implementation of the CAGI, low level of gang-related crimes was realized. The regions that did not implement CAGI recorded high level as well as the areas that did not aggressively implement the initiative. The recommendations are that the funding for the CAGI program should be sufficient with the new strategies being considered such as the planning phase which would ensure there is partnership building and data collection. Another recommendation is the supporting capacity building through training and technical assistance especially in the areas of data collection process planning and systems.

The study could have produced better results which could be generalized to give a practical conclusion on the impact of CAGI program. The sampling method did not provide enough information as required with the sampling population being small. The duration in which the research was carried out was also limiting since more details would be recorded that could be very significant in case more time was invested.


McGarrell, E., Corsaro, N., Melde, C., Hipple, N., Cobbina, J., Bynum, T., & Perez, H. (2012, July 20). An Assessment of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. Retrieved from National Criminal Justice Reference Service:

Related: Research Design