Despite a multi-billion dollar war on gangs over the past 25 years, Los Angeles is home to an estimated 700 gangs and 40,000 gang members. The detrimental impact of gang violence has disproportionately affected low-income, minority communities and increased the need for specialized programs and services for these neighborhoods.
Dr. Gary Slutkin, founder of Chicago’s award winning violence interruption model, “Ceasefire”, reached the conclusion that “the work of stemming gang violence requires people with street credibility, fluency in gang and prison culture, and authenticity to speak about conditions that gang members and ex-offenders face.”
Past intervention programs focused specifically on reducing violence within gang sets, in contrast to current programs that focus on engaging at the individual, group and community level with the goal of building neighborhood cohesion and sustainability.
These new models of community based intervention transform the role of the “gang interventionist” to one a “Community Intervention Worker”. By definition this role requires that the interventionist have the ability to recognize, diffuse, and mediate a crisis as well as be able to effectively collaborate with local law enforcement, social service providers and community stakeholders.
P.C.I.T.I. provides a multi-level infrastructure that addresses a variety of identified gaps in social services. A key component of this program is to identify and rehabilitate anti-social beliefs of the target population; including gang violence, domestic abuse, school-based challenges, family dysfunction, aggressive hostility, and low self-esteem, just to name a few.
The program has been introduced to over 50 cities around the world, and LAPD Chief Gannon credits P.C.I.T.I. with significantly reducing the murder rates in the Los Angeles communities that have adopted it.
Learn more about P.C.I.T.I.