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L.A.'s $26 Million Gang Program Rife with Problems, Investigative Report Finds

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Word around city hall is that the Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office has been concerned with today's release of the Spot.Us report from WitnessLA that digs deep and analyzes the $26 million spent on gang reduction and youth development. Perhaps with good reason.Last month City Controller Wendy Greuel mostly gave praise to the program, but criticized one of the most important factors: evaluation. But Celeste Fremon of WitnessLA said in an e-mail to LAist that "the problem is not with an inadequate $500,000 evaluation of the programs. The problem is with the programs themselves---in a big way."

In part one of the series, writer Matthew Fleischer looks into prevention, specifically how at-risk youth are identified, which has gotten to be quite a process. It's called the Youth Services Eligibility Tool (YSET), which is "a lengthy questionnaire designed by a team of experts at the University of Southern California."