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Altering Pathways Project

a group presenting at city hall

Altering Pathways to Youth Gang Involvement and Violence

As a result of the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention, a number of recommendations to address and prevent gang violence were put forward. One resulting initiative involved the City of Surrey securing one-time funding from Public Safety Canada in order to research comprehensive, evidence-based policies and practices for disrupting pathways to gang involvement and serious violence in Surrey. This funding was applied to the Altering Pathways to Youth Gang Involvement and Violence project where Simon Fraser University researchers explored two distinct pathways to gang involvement:

Correctional Pathway

This pathway’s objective was to provide the Criminal Justice System with a model for coding social networks in order to identify individuals that are most likely to commit violence or become a victim of violence as well as leverage this knowledge to initiate targeted prevention efforts. One of the conclusions drawn is that social network analysis may be a useful way for identifying specific individuals that attract conflict which spreads, not only to them, but to their wider social network whether gang-involved or not. Since sharing the research, British Columbia Corrections hosted a forum in Surrey where correctional facility wardens from across the province explored the findings further with the researchers.

Community Pathway

This pathway’s objective was to underscore that preventing and intervening with children and youth at risk of gang involvement requires a multi-faceted approach that looks at various types of risk factors in order to determine the services that should be provided to children, youth, and their families. Researchers outlined six potential pathways to youth gang involvement and suggested a seventh be further examined in future research. Related to the findings, the Children and Youth At-Risk Table has enhanced Surrey service provider consistency in collecting risk and protective factors which are key to tailoring effective gang intervention strategies.

Read the full Altering Pathways research report.

Related Content

SAFE Program

Learn about the SAFE Program's coordinated approach to address youth gang violence.

Children and Youth At-Risk Table (CHART)

See how the Children and Youth At-Risk Table initiative operates.