Anti-Gang Initiatives: Enforcement and Education

Parole officers assigned to the State Parole Board's Street Gang Unit supervise about 500 parolees statewide who are known gang members. The interaction with these parolees gives the Street Gang Unit members a street-level view of the ways gang membership affects individuals and communities, and the ways gangs attempt to lure young people.

What they see every day inspires the Street Gang Unit members to prevent violence and gang recruitment activities through two main efforts: enforcement and education.

The enforcement effort includes aggressive methods to prevent gang-related crimes. These include intensive supervision of parolees, and intelligence sharing with the FBI, New Jersey State Police, Department of Corrections and local law enforcement agencies. These partnerships help identify reliable information; monitor changes and growth in gang activity; and prevent new crimes before they take place.

For its education effort, the Street Gang Unit conducts gang recognition seminars for hospitals, universities, public schools and municipal police departments, based on up-to-the-minute information collected during their everyday duties.

The Street Gang Unit works to prevent young people from becoming attracted to join gangs, by providing Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) programs for elementary school students. The Federal GREAT program teaches youngsters about peer pressure, anger management and peaceful conflict resolution.

The State Parole Board's Street Gang Unit is dedicated to elevating gang awareness statewide. Any representatives of law enforcement agencies, schools, community organizations or other groups interested in learning about gang activity in New Jersey, or wishing to host a gang awareness seminar, should contact:

New Jersey State Parole Board
Division of Parole
P.O. Box 862
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609)-292-4257 Extension # 4