The Gang Prevention Program (GPP) was started in 1999 through a grant funded by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The Gang Prevention Program is designed to provide educational and awareness programs to Albany’s communities regarding youth gangs.
Providing positive structured activities along with the necessary counseling, the GPP helps kids to handle the negative peer pressures they encounter on the streets and aids them in achieving their personal goals and dreams. Utilizing community resources that already exist along with providing numerous alternatives the GPP offers kids opportunities to realize their potential and build a positive foundation for the future.
An example of some of the updated highlights:
- Providing tutors for city youths (ages 8 to 18) in need of assistance with their schoolwork. Students from the College of St. Rose and SUNY at Albany, and numerous volunteers. Student organizations from these schools, such as the College of St. Rose SPECTRUM Program and the Univeristy at Albany’s R.A.C.E. (Reclassifying All Children Equally Organization) program and Siena College’s HEOP, have reached out to collaborate.
- Working with the Albany City School District to educate the staff and provide counseling for at-risk children. Continue to collaborate with Albany City schools upon request. Conducted awareness programs for faculty members at Hackett Middle School, Myers Middle School, and training for Albany High School Security, also provided student assemblies and classroom visits for Hackett, Harriet Gibbons, Pine Hills and Eagle Point elementary and the MAPS and TOPS programs.
- Presented gang awareness seminars to the numerous agencies and colleges, including: SUNY Criminal Justice and Sociology classes, SAGE College, the Albany County Health Department, the Clearview Center, Albany County Mental Health Department, Project STRIVE, Albany Medical Center nurses, LaSalle School Evening Reporting Center, Albany County Social Services Department, the New York State Police, the Zone 5 Police Academy, the Albany County Probation Department, St. Catherine’s Pastoral Center, the New York State Higher Education Department, the NYS EAP, along with various neighborhood associations and groups throughout the city of Albany.
- The YMCA of Albany continues to collaborate with the GPP. The program is called “TEENS LOOKIN’ OUT.” The program started in May of 2000 and has attracted over 5,000 kids since. Basketball, weight-lifting programs, dance classes, peer groups, cooking classes, and guest speakers are just some of the programs that are offered. The building is closed to all except for teens. The GPP attracts the teens and educational programs combined with recreational programs keep them busy in a positive environment.
- Assisting and providing daily counseling to area youth facilities as requested, agencies such as LaSalle, Trinity Institute’s Anger management and their Albany County Jail program, Conifer Park, St. Colman’s, Albany County Drug Court, Project Equinox, Vanderhyden, Samaritan Shelters, and Berkshire Farm. Also assisting in training counselors and social workers on recognizing and intervening gang activity within their facilities.
- Working with area mentorship programs working with agencies like the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, SUNY Fraternity/Sorority mentors, and the SUNY Journey Program.
- Awaiting funding to continue the CHOICES program which takes youth to various prisons and jails who offer the YAP program.
Ron "Cook" Barrett
7 Hoffman Avenue
Albany, NY 12202
Phone: (518) 434-5699
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