McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Mariangela Ruiz-Hernandez


Major and Classification


Faculty Mentor

  • Karen Hennigan, Ph.D.


  • Dornsife: Psychology

McNair Project

Gang Involvement and the Individual

This analysis reviews the importance of allocating increased resources on education rather than incarceration for reducing gang-related crime. Our investigations show that gang-intervention programs are effective in reducing gang crime. Specifically, youth who participate in gang-intervention programs or rehabilitation programs have lower recidivism rates than youth who simply go through the judicial system. In particular, our research into types of gang-intervention programs reveals that youth benefit academically and socially from after-school programs. Creating more groups that youth can be a part of such as sports and clubs may help individuals deter from their gang, which in turn reduces crime. If there are programs to help individuals in high gang territory these programs may reduce crime rates.