The John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation provided funding in 2008 for a two-year longitudinal evaluation of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the United States. The research included a Success Case Study of former Homeboy clients to identify the program components and the individual, family, and community factors that enable clients to successfully exit from gang life. This in-depth qualitative study is examining a random sample of 10 “successful” HBI clients (5 male/5 females who have been out of gang life for more than 3 years) and 10 “struggling” (5 male/5 females who have been associated with HBI but have not successfully exited gang life). This study informed the development of a screening measure that will be used to identify the combination of individual, family, and contextual factors that lead to success in HBI’s primary intervention, which is the in-residence job training and employment program. The Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities is expanding the evaluation to ultimately follow the Homeboy program for five years, providing the first longitudinal research study of anti-gang efforts ever completed.
Todd M. Franke, PhD, MSW