Boyle Heights is a vicinity located on the east side of Los Angeles ( Healthy City, 2010 ) . An initial appraisal of the community revealed issues of poorness and offense. Harmonizing to the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollenbeck Division ( 2011 ) , the bulk of offenses committed in the Boyle Heights community are belongings offenses such as car larceny and burglary, nevertheless there are besides violent offenses such as robbery and aggravated assaults ( Los Angeles Police Department COMPSTAT, 2011 ) . Harmonizing to detective Antonio Macklin of the Hollenbeck constabularies station in Boyle Heights, the bulk of offenses are motivated by economic factors as Boyle Heights is a hapless community ( A. Macklin, personal communicating, February 10, 2011 ) .

An initial thrust and walk through the residential countries of the community of Boyle Heights revealed places in assorted provinces of disrepair. The bulk of houses are old. As one walks farther along through the streets graffiti is seeable. However, this is besides a community rich in cultural history. A farther walk through the community reveals a historical museum, Mariachi Plaza, Murals picturing Mexican American Culture, Catholic Churches, and family-owned markets, eating houses and vesture shops. Despite offense in the country, kids are observed playing in the streets, in the local Parkss and in their backyards. The community does have assorted Parkss and diversion centres every bit good as community centres.

Community Characteristics


Boyle Heights is located in East Los Angeles and its geographical boundaries are demarcated by the City of Vernon to the South, East Los Angeles to the E, Lincoln Heights and El Sereno to the North, Los Angeles River and Downtown Los Angeles to the West ( City of Los Angeles, 2005 ) . For the intent of this needs appraisal, the boundaries of Boyle Heights were narrowed to boundaries as defined by the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council web site ( 2011 ) dwelling of Marengo Street to the North, 25th street to the South, Indiana street to the East and the Los Angeles River to the West ( Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, n.d. ) . Boyle Heights is a mixture of residential countries, commercial countries, unfastened infinite and public installations ( City of Los Angeles, 2005 ) . Harmonizing to informations obtained from ( 2010 ) , there are 12 Parks and Recreational Centers within a one stat mi radius of the Boyle Heights community. Additionally, Boyle Heights has a assortment of little concerns punctuated by assets in the community such as White Memorial Medical Center, the extension of the Metro Gold Line and Los Angeles USC Medical Center, which harmonizing to the President of the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce, Alicia Maldonado, these assets have “ brought betterments to the community, occupations for the occupants, clients to the retail constitutions and better wellness attention ( Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce, 2011, p. 1 ) ” . Former occupant of Boyle Heights, Geneva Garcia, who resided in the country from the 1950 ‘s until 2009, stated that “ independent of the presence of packs and offense in the country ” , she has fond memories of her childhood and her life in Boyle Heights because of the many Parkss, recreational activities, athleticss and other community activities available to her ( G. Garcia, personal communicating, February 10, 2011 ) . Ms. Garcia besides confirmed that the bulk of the community is Latino. This has farther been confirmed through informations obtained from the web site and observation of the community.

Historical Background

Harmonizing to the Boyle Heights Historical Society Website ( 2011 ) , Boyle Heights was originally founded in the late 1800s. However, the vicinity became recognized in the early twentieth century as a vicinity of immigrants ( Boyle Heights Historical Society, 2011 ) . During this period of clip, Boyle Heights became a “ gateway ” for immigrants who could non populate in downtown Los Angeles because of the racial segregation of Jews, Mexicans, Japanese and some Russians ( Los Angeles Times Magazine, 2009 ) . Although presently, Jewish, Nipponese and Russian immigrants are non portion of the makeup of this community, they are an of import portion of its history. Harmonizing to The Boyle Height Project ( 2003 ) , the Boyle Heights community has been a melting-pot of diverse civilizations which need to be preserved and understood. Interviews conducted by the undertaking in 2003 with old occupants of the country from Nipponese, Judaic and Russian descent, indicate that these former occupants of the country all bonded over being immigrants and victims of racial favoritism. This history of favoritism and disenfranchisement has carried over to the current population of the community which is Mexican-American, Latino and working category ( The Boyle Heights Project: A Power of Place, 2003 ) .

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Harmonizing to the ( 2010 ) , the entire population life in Boyle Heights is 50,155 with 91.66 % of the population being Hispanic, 2.87 % White and 1.58 % Black or African American, which makes Boyle Heights a preponderantly Latino community. Economically, Boyle Heights is an under-privileged community compared to similar vicinities in the country. Harmonizing to ( 2011 ) , households populating below the poorness degree in Boyle Heights is 28.40 % . This is compared to a rate of 16.02 % in El Sereno, 19.44 % in Chinatown and 24.15 % in Lincoln Heights, all of which are neighbouring communities to Boyle Heights. This information indicates that Boyle Heights is the poorest of all the communities in the East Los Angeles Area comprised of nothing codifications, 90012, 90031, and 90032. Harmonizing to the California Endowment web site ( 2011 ) , politically, Boyle Heights encompasses metropolis council territory 14 represented by Councilman Jose Huizar. Other political representatives at the local degree include County Supervisor, territory 1, Gloria Molina and Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa ( California Endowment, 2011 ) . At the State degree, Boyle Heights is represented by senators Gil Cedillo and Gloria Romero and State assemblymen, Kevin De Leon and John Perez ( California Endowment, 2011 ) . All elected functionaries stand foring Boyle Highs are portion of the Democratic Party nevertheless, Boyle Heights political life is said to be dominated by a mixture of both, conservative and progressive politicians ( California Endowment, 2011 ) .

Community Resources/Strengths and Needs

Boyle Heights is a community with many different resources and strengths. This is a community with several service suppliers as identified through the Healthy City web site ( 2010 ) . A study of the services and plans available indicates that there are at least 16 plans in the community for young person and households. Resources include assorted Parkss and recreational centres, community events such as summer visible radiations in the park, museums, community centres, athleticss installations, schools, a acquisition collaborative, commercial installations, eating houses, and Catholic churches each of which are a beginning of strength in the community. Besides among the strengths in this community is HomeBoy Industries, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supplying services free of charge to youth and grownups who no longer wish to prosecute in pack activity. Their services include but are non limited to school, occupation preparation and arrangement, guidance, and legal services ( HomeBoy Industries, n.d. ) . Additionally, Projecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission focuses on underprivileged young person in the country and provides after school plans during the school twelvemonth and a plan called IMPACTO which provides outreach services, tutoring, personal development and a safe topographic point for young person ( Projecto Pastoral, n.d. ) . These two plans highlight the handiness of plans and resources in this community. However, despite the handiness of resources in the community, there is a prevailing demand for economic development in the signifier of more occupations and economic chances for the occupants of the country in order ameliorate the high poorness and unemployment rate. Furthermore, although there are an copiousness of service suppliers in the country, there is no consistent coaction between service suppliers, which is a demand that should be strengthened in order to increase the effectivity of services provided.

Interview Section

Interviews were conducted with several members of the community including a jurisprudence enforcement officer, a service supplier, a former occupant who lived in the community in the 1950s and a female parent presently populating in the community with adolescent kids. Quotation marks and extracts from the interviews are incorporated throughout the paper nevertheless, it is of import to observe that all of the persons interviewed portion common experiences, all of which take topographic point in the vicinity of Boyle Heights. The interviewees believe that immature grownups can forestall themselves from doing insecure picks by obtaining the undermentioned qualities: a good support system, acknowledging and credence of their jobs and engagement in intercession plans to assist them accomplish a positive and fitter life style. The interviewees believe that the presence of force is apparent in any community nevertheless, with consciousness and appropriate bar and intercession attempts, each person has the power to do positive picks that lead to a lifetime of good results as opposed to a lifetime of changeless battle with destructive behaviour and battle in violent offense.

The Social Problem

Boyle Heights is a diverse community with a rich history that includes a long bequest of pack activity as a community concern. These concerns have been extremely publicized for decennaries ( Los Angeles Times Magazine, 2009 ; Urban Institute, 2010 ; Advancement Project, 2006 ) . Harmonizing to LAPD Hollenbeck Division pack investigators, Boyle Heights has a higher pack population than any other vicinity in the Los Angeles Area ( Urban Institute 2010 ) . The metropolis of Los Angeles is considered the gang capital of the universe ( Urban Institute, 2010 ; Advancement Project 2006 ; R. Hernandez, schoolroom talk, February 8, 2011 ) . When Los Angeles Mayo Antonio Villaraigosa took office, a precedence of his was to turn to the pack job in Los Angeles ( R. Hernandez, 2011 ) . In order to carry through this undertaking, the Mayor ‘s office instituted the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program or GRYD ( Urban Institute, 2010 ; Advancement Project ; 2006 ; R. Hernandez, 2011 ) . The GRYD plan is a targeted bar and intercession plan aimed at cut downing the pack job in Los Angeles ( Urban Institute, 2010 ; R. Hernandez, 2011 ) . In order to carry through this undertaking, the promotion undertaking divided pack wedged communities into “ GRYD zones ” ( Advancement Project 2006 ; Urban Institute, 2010 ; R Hernandez, 2011 ) . The vicinity of Boyle Heights is GRYD zone and harmonizing to the Urban Institute GRYD Boyle Heights rating study ( 2010 ) , in the mid 2000 ‘s there were an estimated 2,000 documented and suspected gang members from the major packs in Boyle Heights including: Barrio Nuevo Estrada, Opal Street, Indiana Dukes, White Fence and 8th street ( Urban Institute, 2010 ) . The prevalence of packs in the country was further confirmed by qualitative interviews with cardinal sources in the country. These sources include Detective Antonio Macklin of the Hollenbeck Division who stated during an interview that “ pack related offense and force has been an issue in the community although less late than in old old ages ” ( A. Macklin, 2011 ) . Geneva Garcia, former occupant of the country stated that she recalls the presence of “ packs in the vicinity turning up and I besides recall shots, offense and force ” ( G. Garcia, 2011 ) . Although she besides stated that “ packs were merely portion of the vicinity and that for the most portion they left occupants of the country entirely if you did non interfere with their activities. ” ( G. Garcia, 2011 ) . Geneva besides stated that, in her sentiment, packs non merely “ beginnings of offense and force as publicized in the media but besides beginnings of safety for the community. ” ( G. Garcia, 2011 ) . The position of Ms. Garcia seems to belie most public sentiment or official “ studies ” nevertheless, it is of import to see that Ms. Garcia was a occupant of the country from 1950 until 2009 and therefore she represents an of import position in this community. Furthermore, Ms. Garcia ‘s sentiment correlatives with findings expressed in the professional literature, viz. , that pack concerns are multi-faceted with poorness being one of the chief contributing factors ( The Advancement Project, 2006 ; Urban Institute, 2010 ; Zimmerman et al. , 2004 ; Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, 2004 ; Coughlin & A ; Venkatesh, 2003 ) .

Harmonizing to research conducted by the Advancement Project ( 2006 ) , monolithic occupation losingss in East Los Angeles during the mid 1970 ‘s to the 1980 ‘s along with policies such as proposition 13, which cut belongings revenue enhancement gross, had an economic impact in the community that led to an addition in gang activity for economic grounds. Law enforcement officer Detective Antonio Macklin of the Hollenbeck constabulary section farther corroborated this impact, as did Rolando Cruz from Home Boy Industries, since both persons were interviewed as portion of this appraisal. Each of these cardinal sources advised that economic downswings correlative to an addition in gang activity. In fact, HomeBoy Industries, a non-profit organisation in the country has a slogan of “ Nothing stops a slug like a occupation. ” During the personal interview, Rolando Cruz, the course of study coordinator for said organisation provinces that “ If person is gaining a nice payroll check in an honorable manner, there is no ground for them to be out at that place in the streets ” ( R. Cruz, personal communicating, February 5, 2011 ) . Although the pack concerns should non be oversimplified by cut downing them to merely economic footings, it is of import to acknowledge that poorness is profoundly interconnected with societal issues such as gang engagement.


Gang engagement has negatively impacted the community of Boyle Heights. ( The Advancement Project, 2006 ; Urban Institute, 2010 ; A. Macklin, 2011 ; R. Hernandez, 2011 ) . In 2006, 14.3 % of deceases in the Boyle Heights community were attributed to pieces ( Healthy City, 2010 ) . Additionally, there was a high per centum, 42.46 % , of non-fatal pieces incidents in Boyle Heights in 2007 ( Healthy City, 2010 ) . These statistics are augmented by recent offense statistics available for this community. Harmonizing to the Los Angeles Times offense function system, during the past six months, from July 2010 to January of 2011, the rate of violent offenses in the Boyle Heights country continues to be higher than in neighbouring communities such as El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, Downtown and Chinatown ( Los Angeles Times, n.d. ) . The impact of force and offense is important in any community, nevertheless, the impact of force and offense is greater in a community like Boyle Heights, which is a community with a high proportion of young person, 32.87 % ( Healthy City, 2010 ) , low educational attainment as 42.25 % of the population has less than a 9th class instruction ( Healthy City, 2010 ) , a 46.36 % unemployment rate ( Healthy City, 2010 ) , and a high per centum of households populating below poorness degree at 28.40 % ( Healthy City, 2010 ) . All of these hazard factors contribute to a community in which force and offense are portion of a manner of life that takes immature people off from more positive activities such as being engaged in school, seeking accomplishments for employment and going involved in community activities which might take to a lessening in gang engagement. The prevalence of hazard factors in this community with its connexion to gang activity is possibly must affectingly described by Rolando Cruz of Home Boy Industries, who grew up in Boyle Heights when he stated that “ gang offenses, the grounds of high poorness rates, the low educational position, and the unemployment rates are familiar community issues from my yesteryear and scenes of the present battle in trying to transform the disturbing young person of the community into productive citizens. ” ( R. Cruz, personal communicating, February 10, 2011 ) .

Community attempts to turn to a decrease in pack activity include non-profit organisations such as HomeBoy Industries, The GRYD plan through the Mayor ‘s office, which works on bar and intercession with local service suppliers in the country, plans such as Boys and Girls Club, recreational plans through the many Parkss in the country, the Boyle Heights larning collaborative, and community events such as summer visible radiations in the park ( Healthy City, 2010 ; A. Macklin, 2011 ; R. Cruz, 2011 ; R. Hernandez, 2011 ) . However, despite the advancement made toward cut downing pack activity and young person force in the community, the inquiry remains, how can this societal job be mitigated? Although there is no clear reply to this inquiry, there is a theoretical lens that when applied to this societal job provides insight into the many constituents of this complex issue. Ecosystems theory provides this theoretical lens.


Ecosystems theory focuses on the interaction between the person and his or her environment ( Salkind, 2005 ; Miley, O’Melia, & A ; DuBois, 2009 ) . As such, ecosystems theory “ describes the behaviours of persons, households, groups, organisations, local communities, and international societies as interrelated ( Miley et al. , P. 30 ) . ” This is a helpful lens when analysing a societal job since it conceptualizes behaviour from the point of position that human behaviour and interaction “ develops overtime and it is a response to external factors and sees behavior as adaptative given its context ( Miley et al. , p. 30 ) ” . When using this lens to gang activity and young person force, one can see how gang engagement makes sense in a community where young person are raised with poorness, low educational attainment, few resources, force as a manner of life, labeling by jurisprudence enforcement, maltreatment or disregard at place, in-migration factors and multi-generational pack engagement. This has been corroborated by the professional cognition base. In 2004, Zimmerman published a survey in which they interviewed adolescent in-between school kids about their beliefs and experiences environing pack engagement and pack force. One of the most important findings of the survey is that kids ‘s exposure to force at place and in their community provided for a normative experience associated with force and a inclination to lose understanding for victims of force ( Zimmerman et al. , 2004 ) . Furthermore, Zimmerman ( 2004 ) found that with respect to persons who feel powerless within their societal construction, the enticement of force and aggressive equal groups ( i.e. packs ) might turn out to supply a sense of personal security and power as one young person wrote “ Violence, is in a manner, is power – the power to govern people, if people are afraid of you, you have power over them, you can do them make what you want. ” ( Zimmerman et al. 2004 ) . Additionally, Coughlin and Venkatesh ( 2003 ) , indicate that in-migration factors are likely relevant to an addition in interior metropolis pack association and forms of local pack activity may be mediated by cultural and societal organisational procedures such as segregation ( Coughlin & A ; Venkatesh, 2003 ) . This is true in the Boyle Heights community, a community historically made up of immigrants that were non allowed to populate in downtown Los Angeles due to racial segregation. Upon the proliferation of packs and force in the country, force as a normative factor along with other hazard factors such as poorness, have continually interacted to prolong gang activity as a community concern. Given the complexness of pack engagement, the inquiry of how to extinguish this job remains mostly unresolved. It remains to be seen what long-run positive results bar and intercession attacks such as GRYD will hold on this of import and relevant job. One thing remains clear, bar and intercession attempts must be targeted non merely toward the person but besides toward the multiple environments in which the person maps. It farther stands to ground that, through ecosystems theory, if community young person are exposed to more positive equal and community interactions, encompassing a more positive attack to job resolution is possible. Approachs need to be targeted to the person, the household, the schools, the community, and of class, national, province, and local functionaries in charge of doing policies that can turn to the hazard factors closely associated with pack engagement and institute protective factors that mitigate those hazard factors associated with this societal job.

Rationale for Action

The prevalence of violent offense in Boyle Heights is correlated with the high grade of pack engagement in the country. Research by the promotion undertaking ( 2006 ) and the Urban Policy Center ( 2010 ) Indicate that packs are really much a portion of the Boyle Heights Community. This is farther validated by qualitative interviews conducted during the demands appraisal for this community. Law enforcement functionary with the Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck Division, Deputy Antonio Macklin indicated during his interview that the “ bulk of offenses committed in the Boyle Heights community are committed by Latino young person between the ages of 15 and 25. ” Furthermore, Rosalia Gonzales, a female parent and occupant of Boyle Heights since the 1960 ‘s indicates that she experiences frequent concern for her teenage boy and girl because of the force per unit area to be involved in pack activity in the vicinity and fears her kids being the unintended victims of force in the community. Ms. Gonzales explicitly stated that the bulk of occupants in Boyle Height are hapless individual female parents like herself and that it is sometimes highly hard to maintain kids in school and on a consecutive way, peculiarly when the equal force per unit area of pack engagement and the enticement of easy money in a hapless vicinity seem much more appealing. ( R.Gonzales, personal communicating, 2011 ) .

Datas from Healthy Cities indicates that 28.40 % of the households in Boyle Heights live below the poorness degree while 71 % of households live at or hardly above the poorness degree. This is farther augmented by the fact 46.36 % of the population ages 16 and above are non in the labour force ( Healthy Cities, 2010 ) . These statistics mean that the huge bulk of the occupants in Boyle Heights are hapless and unemployed that the low educational attainment in the community compounds this job further. Given all of these intensifying factors, the pack involvement issue can non be easy addressed. A individual point of intercession and bar or a individual degree of intercession and bar is non sufficient. A successful bar and intercession scheme at multiple degrees must be established. Although bing plans in the community such as the GRYD undertaking, and community bureaus such as HomeBoy Industries provide successful theoretical accounts of intercession, these theoretical accounts are chiefly directed toward persons who are already involved in packs. A new theoretical account that integrates services at multiple degrees and involves all members of the community must be integrated. A new attack would affect aiming young person in the community regardless of pack engagement and turn toing the multiple combination jobs that contribute the pack engagement and force. Servicess must be provided to households, persons and the communities that help construct a stronger, healthier community. Job chances, educational chances, music, humanistic disciplines, young person activities, household activities, community organizing, and reding services, are all but a few of the many services that need to be integrated and coordinated in to a healthy community.

Model for Intervention

Many of the metropolis, county, and local authorities functionaries that service the Boyle Heights country are outstanding Latin American persons with a declared committedness to bettering life among their components by guaranting entree to authorities, instruction, employment and public safety. One of the most outstanding stakeholders and a former occupant of the Boyle Heights community is Los Angeles city manager Antonio Villaraigosa who was born in Boyle Heights in 1953. Mayor Villaraigosa is a advocate of a strong constabulary force in Los Angeles County and for the decrease of offense, which includes gang-related offense. “ A cardinal portion of the Mayor ‘s scheme to battle the City ‘s pack epidemic is to set up GRYD zones in the communities most affected by packs. In add-on to an increased deployment of constabulary, the GRYD zones will have extra resources focused on bar, intercession and re-entry plans for those involved or otherwise affected by packs. This holistic attack is seen by experts as cardinal to cut downing non merely the offense rates, but besides the rank of immature people in packs ( Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor of Los Angeles web site, 2007 ) . ”

The city manager ‘s GRYD plan in the Boyle Heights country includes a bar theoretical account that utilizes the support of the Hollenbeck Police Department. Since young person in gang-infested countries might be prone to misgiving of constabulary authorization, holding a personal experience with a constabulary officer that is supportive and enriching is one way to presenting young person to a positive grownup wise man. The Hollenbeck Police Activities League ( PAL ) was established in 1992 and boasts that 85 % of the young person in the PAL plan attend college ( Hollenbeck PAL, 2011 ) . PAL young person besides prosecute in enriching experiences with their equals.

Walker and Mason ( 2001 ) stated that much of the “ research on young person delinquency has focused on community-level hazard factors such as poorness and societal disorganisation ( Walker-Barnes & A ; Mason, 2001, p. 1815 ) ” . However, they proposed that young person were at higher hazard for pack engagement if there was a deficiency of effectual parenting coupled with a high exposure to delinquent equals. Walker and Mason discovered that young person who reported gang engagement frequently did non include their female parents as one of the most influential people in their lives. Further, they found that autocratic parenting manners were less effectual in cut downing young person pack engagement but parents who pattern “ higher degrees of behavioural control and heats were related to take down initial degrees of pack engagement and pack delinquency ( Walker-Barnes & A ; Mason, 2001, P. 1826 ) . ” In add-on, deficiency of parental engagement besides indicated increased hazard for pack engagement. Therefore, positive parenting attacks are an indispensable constituent to an effectual bar scheme.

Evidence based research such as Positive Peer Culture ( PPC ) proposes that “ troubled young person demand more than technique ; they need transformative experiences with other people ( Laursen, 2010, P. 38 ) . ” Engagement in a PPC theoretical account of bar could chiefly be targeted toward at-risk young person although one could reason that all of the young person in the Boyle Heights community could be at hazard because of the high incidence of pack involved youth. The PPC theoretical account proposes to supply young person with chances for authorization and selflessness, which increases self deserving and connexions with others and with their communities. The PPC theoretical account further indicates that young person need to experience that they are in a supportive and safe environment hence this theoretical account should be used in concurrence with therapy and non as a replacing for therapy ( Laursen, 2010, p. 41 ) . PPC could be offered as an extracurricular after school activity and if successful could be integrated into the school course of study as an elected class for junior high or high school pupils.

There are two extra theoretical accounts of intercession that could be used in concurrence with the PPC plan depending on the specific demands of the young person involved. First, the Equipping Youth to Help One Another ( EQUIP ) theoretical account is a derived from the PPC plan “ in which persons turn from antisocial and suicidal behaviour to behavior that helps others and themselves ( Leeman, Gibbs, & A ; Fuller, 1993, P. 282 ) . ” Leeman et al indicate that the EQUIP theoretical account is more effectual with young person who “ frequently lack the assisting accomplishments and moral adulthood ” that they need to assist others and who might besides profit from larning appropriate ways of self-denial since this theoretical account incorporates elements of choler direction preparation ( Leeman, Gibbs, & A ; Fuller, 1993, P. 282 ) . ”

Second, Aggression Replacement Therapy ( ART ) is an evidence-based intercession that utilizes a parental constituent that entices parental engagement with the understanding that the affected young person will be suspended or disciplined for a shorter continuance ( McGinnis, 2003, P. 164 ) . ”

The premiss for using plans targeted at pre-delinquent young person and including their households is to forestall the draw of societal inclusion toward negative equal influences. The PAL plan self-praises success by supplying at hazard young person with positive grownup wise mans and peer interaction and is one of merely two bar enterprises identified in the Boyle Heights GRYD plan. For a community that has such a high incidence of pack engagement, this is deficient. Therefore, it is sensible to enlist the inclusion of household members so that a parent or health professional could besides supply young person with a positive and nurturing grownup function theoretical account. This in concurrence with a civilization of positive equal influences in the school scene might turn out to supply a positive flight for young person to achieve a healthy, educated and successful start toward a safer and more productive hereafter for them and for their community.


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