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Toward the Development of a Regional Strategy to Respond to Gangs in the Caribbean Charles M. Katz, Ph.D. Arizona State University Center for Violence.

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Presentation on theme: "Toward the Development of a Regional Strategy to Respond to Gangs in the Caribbean Charles M. Katz, Ph.D. Arizona State University Center for Violence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toward the Development of a Regional Strategy to Respond to Gangs in the Caribbean Charles M. Katz, Ph.D. Arizona State University Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety School of Criminology & Criminal Justice Second Special Meeting on Criminal Gangs: Toward a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter-American Cooperation Washington DC March 2, 2010

2 Ready, Fire, Aim…The typical solution to gang problems

3 Presentation Outline What we have doneTrinidad & Tobago What we are doingAntigua & Barbuda What we are proposing to doSix (6) county gang project

4 Project Timeline Dec Giuliani and Partners submit proposal for reducing crime and transforming the Police Service Mar Ministry of National Security rejects Giuliani proposal Dec GMU submits proposal for transforming the Police Service. Feb Unexpected meeting with Minister of National Security leads to development of crime reduction proposal. Aug First crime reduction contract awarded ($1.2 million). Jan Second crime reduction contract awarded ($3.4 million). Jan. 2009CJA receives third contract for training and on-site coaching ($1.1 million)

5 Diagnosing Gang Problems How we learn about gangs affects how we understand themHow we learn about gangs affects how we understand them We must understand gangs, to know how to respond effectively to themWe must understand gangs, to know how to respond effectively to them Triangulation helps us understand the problem and develop effective responsesTriangulation helps us understand the problem and develop effective responses

6 Trends in homicides by weapon type: 1999 – 2008 Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

7 Trinidad and Tobago: Pioneers in the Caribbean Gang Expert Survey –Developed as part of the Eurogang research program –Surveyed gang experts in all TT station districts Besson Street Gang Intelligence, Criminal History Project –Non-gang sample (n=878) –Gang sample (n=368) Network analysis of Homicides

8 TT: Pioneers in the Caribbean, Cont. Trinidad and Tobago Youth Survey (TTYS) –Adapted from the Social Development Research Group, Communities that Care, TT Peace Programme. –Surveyed approximately 4,000 students, Forms 4 thru 6. Trinidad Arrestee Project Survey (TAPS) –Based on the DUF/ADAM –Interviewed 421 recently booked adult arrestees Trinidad Detention Survey (TDS) –Interviewed about 60 adult detainees –Moving forward with juvenile detainees

9 Prevalence of Gangs & Gang Members Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

10 Number of gangs and gang members in TT Expert Survey 95 gangs 1,269 gang members 25.8% formed before % formed between TTYS 30% of youth are at-risk for gang involvement 7.1% gang associates 6% current gang members 6.7% former gang members

11 Gang Concentration by District # of Gangs# of Gang Members Besson Street19385 San Juan8130 Sangre Grande890 St. Joseph755 Belmont6165

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13 Composition of Gangs in TT Gang Expert Survey About 83% are African, 13% are East Indian No female dominated gangs About 87% are comprised of adults TTYS About 42% are African, 21.7% are East Indian, and 11.6% are Afro/Indian 41% of gang members are female. 43.5% are 16 yrs. old +

14 Criminal Involvement of Gangs Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

15 Criminal Involvement of TT Gangs: Expert Survey Frequent use of alcohol, drug use, and drug sales/traffickingFrequent use of alcohol, drug use, and drug sales/trafficking High levels of armed violence: Two-thirds involved in fights with rival groupsHigh levels of armed violence: Two-thirds involved in fights with rival groups Experts emphasized that gangs most frequently involved in:Experts emphasized that gangs most frequently involved in: –drug sales/trafficking, –robbery, –firearms activity (i.e., homicides, shootings), –organized fraud

16 Problem behavior by gang affiliation, TTYS (percentage) NeverCurrent member MJ lifetime* MJ 30 days* Carried gun* Sold Drugs* Stole car* Arrest* Attacked to harm* N1, *p<.05

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18 Chronic (gang) offenders and their contribution to crime (n=372) n % of Sample Total Arrests % of Total Arrests Chronic offenders Other offenders Chronically violent offenders Other offenders Chronic drug traffickers Other offenders Chronic gun possession offenders Other offenders

19 Gang Involved Homicides in the Besson Street Station District by Known Victim and Suspect Affiliation (1/1/05-1/26/06) Gang Number Homicide Suspects Number Homicide Victimizations Total % of Gang Homicides in District Gang % Gang % Gang % Gang % Gang % Gang % Gang %

20 Diagnosing Institutional Capacity to Control Gangs and Gang Crime

21 Homicide clearance rates:

22 Homicide Investigator Experience

23 Firearms Cases at the Forensic Science Centre *Black line indicates cumulative number of firearms cases submitted. *Red line indicates cumulative number of unprocessed firearms cases. Submitted Unprocessed

24 Besson Street Gang Homicide Case Processing Success Number Total Percent Probability of Event Homicides involving Gang Member % Arrests35.6%5.6% Convictions000.0%

25 Resident perceptions, behaviors, and beliefs 86% of residents reported hearing gunshots in their neighborhood at least once in the past 30 days Only 7% of the residents who heard gunshots in the past 30 days reported them to the police 71% of residents strongly agree that people who report crimes committed by gang members to the police are likely to experience retaliation by gang members 77% stated that the police did not respond quickly when people ask them for help Source: Gonzales IMPACT Fact Sheet, 2006

26 Gangs role in informal social control within the community (examples) Gangs bring down crime. They instituted a community court that meets weekly where young males are punished and give strokes…. One to two local councilors have gone to the courts to observe their practice Gangs are the first ones to respond to crime, the police are incompetent, they take too long and never finish the work. If you go to the gang leader you know they will take care of you. If you live in a community where there is gang cohesion you are more safe because they [protect you.]…Gangs provide safety, create jobs,… give people food, give mothers milk for their babys.

27 Summary: Mechanisms of Formal Social Control are Broken Lack of responsiveness to public Public/jurors do not trust the police Lack of training Lack of investigative capacity Lack of evidence processing capacity Police-prosecutors lack experience

28 Responses Suppression Creation of a homicide unit –Training Creation of a crime analysis unit –Training (completion date 6/10) –Unit coach Creation of a gang/ROP unit –Certification training (completion date 6/10) –Unit coach Operation project involving the above units & firearms unit and organized crime unit Prevention Establishment of the Violence Prevention Academy (VPA) –25 high risk schools –Training in SARA model –Implement violence reduction project in each school. Anticipated completion date for 1 st round June 2010 Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

29 Organization of American States Antigua & Barbuda Pilot Project Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

30 Antigua & Barbuda Number of Homicides: Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

31 Homicides in Antigua from (n=29) Victim Characteristics Age(Median)26 years %N GenderMale Female20.76 EthnicityBlack Spanish3.41 Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

32 Motives of Homicides in Antigua, %N Altercation17.25 Domestic20.66 Drug-related20.66 Gang related3.41 Retribution vs. Police3.41 Robbery6.92 Unknown/Missing27.78 Detection rate Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

33 Homicides in Antigua by Weapon Type, %N Blunt object10.33 Burning3.41 Gun Knife Strangulation3.41 Missing3.41 Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

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35 Composition of gangs 85% mostly male or all male Youngest member is about 14 42% years old 50% years old 43% have members 50% have members Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

36 Characteristics of gangs All have a name 87% hang out in public areas 66% have turf 73% have symbols (e.g., clothing) 20% of gangs support a political issue Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

37 Gang behavior Illicit activity is accepted Often engages in alcohol and drug use 53% frequently get into fights with other gangs. Regularly involved in larceny, robbery, street level drug trafficking, battery/wounding. Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

38 Unique problems call for unique responses Trinidad Chronic gang problem High # of gang homicides Large # of gang members Age of gang members varies from young to old Many of the gangs are involved in violence Antigua Emerging gang problem Low # of gang homicides Small # of gang members Many of the gangs are NOT involved in violence Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

39 Healthy Community Pyramid

40 Recent A&B Activities Two days of task force training Two days of educator training 1/2 day of strategic planning Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

41 Forthcoming A&B Activities Formal establishment of a steering committee Conduct a thorough gang assessment Conduct assessment of capacity to respond to gang problem Implementation of a national response to gangs based on strategic problem solving (i.e., SARA). Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

42 Proposal: OAS Caribbean-Wide Gang Project Gang assessment to be conducted in six Caribbean nations National gang-task forces establish –Training –Strategic planning –Program implementation Develop Caribbean gang surveillance system (OAS, UWI-Mona, ASU, others) Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

43 Six County Caribbean Gang Assessment Gang homicide trends Gang expert survey (police & schools) Student survey on gangs Survey on capacity to respond to gangs Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

44 Purpose of Gang Assessments & Surveillance Systems Identify scope and nature of local problems Local data motivates local actions Helps determine funding Tailor interventions to specific needs Evaluate interventions Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety


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