State summit on gang prevention to be held in November

TACOMA, Wash. - On Wednesday, November 1, the Joint Summit on Gang Prevention and Intervention will be held in Tacoma, Washington.

A release from the Governor's Office stated that gang activity is a problem in many cities. Because of this better communication is necessary between communities.

The summit will host state and national experts on gang activity. Eileen Garry, acting administrator of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will share best practices and increase collaboration statewide.

The event is intended for state, local and tribal community leaders, law enforcement, prosecutors, educators, providers of services for youth involved in gang activity and policymakers.

Gov. Jay Inslee had a similar discussion with local leaders earlier this month in Yakima, which is estimated to have the highest per capita rate of gang homicides in the state. 

“The level of gang violence in Yakima and other parts of the state is unacceptable,” Inslee said. “While there is an obvious need for assistance for law enforcement, we know we also need preventive services. We need to out-recruit the gangs and connect our youth to something positive rather than a life that is dangerous to them and the community.”

Intervention and prevention models have had some success in cities around the state, including Spokane.

The city of Yakima has about 200 known gangs, said Pastor Shon Davis, a member of the Kingdom Fellowship Church Alliance. The organization is composed of roughly 20 churches in the Spokane area and partners with schools to provide mediation, family outreach, mentorship and other services to gang-affected youth.

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