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Gang Intervention Specialist Grant finishes final year

Gang Intervention Specialist Grant finishes final year
Posted on 05/30/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Gang Intervention Specialist Grant finishes final yearby Dwight Henson
PISD Communications


At the end of this school year, the three-year grant that provided Pasadena ISD with a full-time gang intervention specialist will expire.

Borne of an ongoing relationship between PISD’s Summit and the Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office (MAGO), the grant provided $40K each year for a specialist to work with students assigned to the Summit for gang-related offenses.

“We’re really going to miss the impact Mariah has made on both our campus as well as our district,” said Robert DeWolfe, principal of the Summit. 

For the past three years, gang intervention specialist Mariah Jacox has worked with the students of Pasadena ISD by diligently carrying out the five core strategies of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Gang Model:

• Community mobilization
• Opportunities provision
• Social intervention
• Suppression 
• Organizational change and development

“In my role as a counselor, I wanted to make sure kids feel safe at school, and I wanted to help reduce community violence,” said Jacox.

As a gang intervention specialist, Jacox organized extracurricular and volunteering activities, helped reduced sentencing and probation for non-violent offenders, counseled students and provided means for tattoo removal.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that her work has contributed to a significant reduction in gang activity in Pasadena,” said DeWolfe.

Although the grant will expire at the end of this school year, Pasadena ISD looks forward to continuing its relationship with the Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office to help curb gang violence and activity. 

“We will continue to hold monthly Gang Violence Reduction Team meetings with MAGO support whether we have a full-time gang intervention specialist in Pasadena ISD or not,” said DeWolfe. 

Prior to Jacox assuming the role for Pasadena ISD, she and Todd Dannelly had worked at the Summit for years as part of their roles as gang intervention specialists for the city of Houston.

“I’ve been coming out to the Summit now for six years,” said Dannelly. “It’s been a good way to decrease gang activities in the greater Houston area. The ongoing relationship we have developed with the Summit and Pasadena ISD has been incredibly beneficial to the community and one we hope to continue for the foreseeable future.”