About the OC Gang Problem

In Orange County, there are more than 13,000 documented gang members. Minors are exposed to criminal street gangs as young as 8 years old. Orange County Gang Experts agree the average age that minors are pressured to join a criminal gang is from 8 to 14 years old. Residents in gang communities live in constant fear of random violence and crimes committed by the gang members. In 2014, an 8 year old little girl was killed while riding her bicycle in front of her home by gang members shooting at rivals in broad daylight. Many residents in gang neighborhoods tell police that they sleep on mattresses on the floor or back bedrooms because stray bullets from violence are so common. The common crimes committed by Orange County Gang Members are murders, attempted murders, weapons violations, narcotics, burglaries, robberies, assaults, carjacking and rapes. The District Attorney has filed 15 Gang Injunctions in Orange County. Each Injunction lists an area claimed by the targeted criminal street gang as its own. The size of these areas is typically one square mile or less. The average cost of graffiti removal for these areas before the gang injunction is filed is $250,000 to $350,000 per year.

Struggles of GRIP Students

To prevent targeted at-risk minors from joining criminal street gangs and enable them to graduate from high school free from destructive criminal behavior.

“I spent most of my career putting people in jail. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a program where I get to send kids to college instead.” — Detective K.R., GRIP

Most of the students receiving GRIP services live in neighborhoods controlled by criminal street gangs. Many of the OC GRIP students reside with two and three families in one-bedroom apartments. A majority of the students live extremely well below the state poverty line and have parents that don’t speak English. Many of the GRIP students have family members who are in custody.

Most GRIP students have never played on a sports team or been to a camp or have been in an afterschool program because their parents can’t afford it. GRIP students are referred to the OC GRIP Team because of poor grades, truancy issues and behavior problems. A majority of the GRIP students report to the team that they have no self-confidence or hope for their futures and have been terrorized by gang members.