Founder of Largest Gang Intervention and Rehabilitation Program Talks to City Justice System Leaders – Action News Jax

The founder of the world’s largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program was in Duval County on Thursday, helping police and justice system leaders address the local gang problem.

“It’s about a deadly absence of hope, about people who can’t imagine their future,” Greg Boyle said. “It’s a way to spread the word, and if we inspire people to change their lives rather than incarcerate our ways out of all our problems.”

Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, which provides support to ex-gang members and previously incarcerated people.

The book signing and presentation was organized by the state attorney’s office, with the goal of disseminating the knowledge to local prosecutors, law enforcement, and others who joined.

At the local level, State’s Attorney Melissa Nelson said she is working to do what’s best for public safety.

“We have a lot of support and services, the sheriff’s office does this work regularly where they do personalized notifications and calls to offer people we know who are causing havoc an opportunity to get out,” she said. declared. “If you want to go out, we will offer you a job, we will offer you the services you need.”

Over the years, gang affiliation is believed to be part of several crimes and murders in the city of Jacksonville. Boyle says one way to get gang members out is to focus on prevention, intervention and enforcement.

“Create a safe place and then people want to feel seen and then the hope is that they will actually feel cherished and that’s how things change,” he said. “When people are cherished and they know the truth about who they are,” Boyle said.

State’s Attorney Melissa Nelson also said social media was also creating problems. She said many threatened and celebrated violence through drill rap videos. She thinks social media has “added a complicated layer to the dynamics of our city”, adding that it was not a factor locally or nationally about 10 years ago.

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Ryan H. Bowman