Criminal organizations destroy lives and wreak havoc on communities. They are also increasingly difficult to combat, particularly when they extend beyond neighborhoods to regional, national, international, and transnational territories. Therefore, strong efforts to prevent the development and growth of these organizations is crucial. The most effective preventative strategies address psychological and/or sociological root causes of criminal organizations and include the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, neighborhoods, and even businesses. Some community-based strategies are designed to quell the development of gangs and organized crime groups from the inside out by preventing adolescents from joining these criminal groups. Others seek to open lines of communication between community members and law enforcement so that community members feel comfortable providing information to the police.


In this Discussion, you consider strategies to prevent the creation, development, and growth of criminal organizations in your community. 


Post a letter to the editor of your local newspaper that addresses the following:


· Explain what law enforcement is or should be doing to prevent new criminal organizations from entering your community.


· Recommend an effective strategy to prevent the development and growth of criminal organizations in your community.


· If your community has not been exposed to criminal organizations, explain what you would do to prevent them from taking root


Howell, J. C., & Griffiths, E. (2018). Gangs in America’s communities (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


  • Chapter 9, “What Works: Prevention” (pp.      253–280)


Community Tool Box. (n.d.). Section 2. Writing letters to the editor. Retrieved May 4, 2019, from


Dong, B., & Krohn, M. D. (2016). Escape from violence: What reduces the enduring consequences of adolescent gang affiliation? Journal of Criminal Justice, 47, 41–50. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2016.07.002



Jennings-Bey, T., Lane, S. D., Rubinstein, R. A., Bergen-Cico, D., Haygood-El, A., Hudson, H., . . . Fowler, F. L. (2015). The trauma response team: A community intervention for gang violence. Journal of Urban Health, 92(5), 947–954. doi:10.1007/s11524-015-9978-8



Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2014, April). Gang prevention. Retrieved from


U.S. Department of Justice. (2013). Changing course: Preventing gang membership. Retrieved from

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