Street outreach workers are an important part of the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative (CSI) comprehensive gang and youth violence reduction strategy in Massachusetts. Street outreach involves the use of individuals to "work the streets," making contact with youth in neighborhoods with high levels of gang activity. These individuals are generally not employed by the criminal justice system agencies but rather are based in community service organizations or other non- governmental agencies. Street outreach workers provide an important bridge between the community, gang-involved youth, and the agencies (whether social service or law enforcement) that respond to the problems of delinquency and gangs.
This guide offers information, guidance, and lessons learned from street outreach programs nationally and within the Massachusetts Shannon CSI communities to help guide existing street outreach programs and support communities considering developing new street outreach programs. The guide provides the following information:
• History of street outreach worker programs in the United States
• Functions and characteristics of street outreach worker programs
• Street outreach programs in Massachusetts
• Challenges of street outreach worker programs and recommendations for success
youth violence reduction, gang violence reduction, street outreach workers
Gang prevention, Violence in adolescence, Violence in children, Juvenile delinquency
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Decker, Scott H.; Bynum, Tim S.; McDevitt, Jack; Farrell, Amy; and Varano, Sean, "Street outreach workers: best practices and lessons learned: innovative practices from the Charles E. Shannon Jr. Community Safety Initiative Series" (2008). Institute on Race and Justice Publications. Paper 17. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002519
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