Violence and Gang Prevention in Douglas County
According to the Omaha Police Department, “there are hundreds of at-risk youth in the Omaha area who are susceptible and may become vulnerable to the gang lifestyle.” There are several organizations in Douglas County that fight for violence and gang prevention among youth.
MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder)
MAD DADS is a violence, gang, and substance prevention organization founded in Omaha in 1989. The efforts of MAD DADS are designed to “promote and demonstrate positive images of fathers engaging in community development and protecting youth and families” (MAD DADS). These men provide positive role models for youth in the community. Although the organization was founded in Omaha, it has spread nationwide. It covers seventeen different states. According to the MAD DADS website, some of the activities provided by the Omaha organization are:
- Weekend Street Patrols within troubled areas that report crime, drug sales and other destructive activities to the proper authorities; painting over gang graffiti and challenging the behavior of drug dealers and gang members.
- Positive Community Activities for youth, such as block parties, rallies, night parades and car shows.
- Chaperons at community events and act as surrogate fathers to youth at non-traditional times and locations.
- Visits to local jails and prisons to counsel and encourage.
- Violence Reduction programs.
- Speaking engagements.
- A non-traditional, 12 week, Rites of Passage program called SANKOFA for boys and girls of any ethnicity, aged 6-25.
- Street Patrols: MAD DADS’ signature program that is mandatory for every Chapter to locally develop and tailor to their local needs.
Although the main office is located in Lincoln (5610 Seward Avenue Lincoln, NE), MAD DADS are active in Omaha. Call (402) 742-0224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about MAD DADS in your community!
Latino Center of the Midlands
The Latino Center of the Midlands is a Latino-serving organization in Nebraska with a variety of resources and programs. One of the programs offered is a Pathways to Success program for high school students grades 9 through 12. This program fights to prevent high-risk behavior (such as gang affiliation). Student receive academic assistance through school-based support services as well as after-school programming. Types of skills worked on are goal setting, working on identifying barriers to regular attendance at school, and guiding toward other community resources to give students opportunities to succeed. Students usually commit to the program for one school year unless more time is needed. According to their website, “Trained facilitators hold weekly sessions with youth around issues related to avoiding risky behaviors and building a positive value system. The curriculum is based on the philosophy that youth need other men and women, their family, and community to care for, assist, heal, and guide them, and successfully prepare them for true adulthood. This model and related activities help youth in building self-determination” (Latino Center of the Midlands, 2019).
For more information about this program, please call (402) 733-2720 or visit their office located at 4821 S 24th St, Omaha, NE. (http://latinocenterofthemidlands.org/what-we-do/pathwaystosuccess/ )
Omaha 360 is a program offered by The Empowerment Network (Empower Omaha – Empower North Omaha – The African-American Empowerment Network) to help prevent and eliminate gun violence and gang affiliation in the North Omaha area. The goals of this program are to: reduce homicides city-wide, reduce gun violence, reduce youth and gang violence, and to provide positive alternative activities. The Omaha 360 Violence Prevention Collaborative meets every Wednesday at the Omaha Home for Boys (52nd & Ames, Wurdeman Conference Center) from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more details, call (402) 444-5990 or visit the website http://empoweromaha.com/omaha-360/
Urban League of Nebraska Violence Prevention Initiative
The Urban League of Nebraska’s Violence Prevention program fights to provide alternate activities and education in order to prevent gang activity and violence. Youth are assisted with life-skills development classes, credit recovery to receive high school diploma, remedial education classes, college preparation, future planning/career assistance, and some forms of job training. This program has proved to help decrease the amount of school suspensions and expulsions.
For more information regarding this program, call (402) 472-9730 or visit the website http://www.urbanleagueneb.org/violence-prevention/
As always, if you have questions about your juvenile record status, contact us! Information located on our Juvenile Reentry Flyer
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-CZ-BX-0021 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.