Community-based gang prevention and intervention: An evaluation of the Neutral Zone

Quint C. Thurman, Andrew L. Giacomazzi, Michael D. Reisig, David G. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article presents an assessment of the Neutral Zone, a community-based gang prevention and intervention program developed in Mountlake Terrace and now operating in several other Washington communities. The Neutral Zone offers youths at risk of joining a gang or already gang-affiliated an attractive and safe alternative for productively spending their time. An evaluation suggests that this late evening program provides viable recreational and social service activities to some 190 youths each Friday and Saturday night. Data from direct observation, focus group interviews with participants and program staff, and official crime statistics indicate that the Neutral Zone is an effective alternative to traditional law enforcement approaches which typically rely on police crackdowns and curfews to regulate gang activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-295
Number of pages17
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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