The groundbreaking A Better Los Angeles (ABLA) project was set up in 2002 by leaders of the community from schools, law enforcement, social-service agencies and faith-based agencies to work with disengaged young people, with a prime objective of reducing gang violence in that community.
The enormity of its task cannot be overstated. California has about 85,000 gang members and over 600 gang-related murders a year. Many millions are spent every year on prison custody for gang-based offenders.
The TPI Intervention
- A variant of The Pacific Institute®’s Investment in Excellence® program known as Imagine 21®.
- Key people from The LA Department of Family Service, the LA Police Department and former gang members and local leaders were trained to facilitate the programs.
- 500 people in gang affected communities experienced the curriculum between 2002 and 2004.
- Subsequent facilitator training has seen the programs rolled out to thousands more.
- Communities formed partnerships with key stakeholder groups to provide activities in arts, counselling, vocational training and other specialized programs.
- Street violence has decreased significantly in some areas and community involvement has increased exponentially.
- Areas that were “no go” zones previously are now more accessible.