| Jeopardy is a nonprofit gang prevention and intervention
program created by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991. Designed
for boys and girls ages 8 through 17 and their families, Jeopardy uses
a positive approach designed to make lifelong changes in the attitudes
of youth in “jeopardy” of being drawn into the gang lifestyle.
Through the work of LAPD officers and volunteers, the program assists teachers, parents and the community in identifying at-risk children. When a child is determined to be at risk, they are taught – along with their parents – about the dangers of gang involvement and about the lifelong consequences of their actions. Utilizing a variety of programs and activities, counseling and classes, these children are provided with skills needed to become functioning adults in society and within their own families.
The “mission” of Jeopardy is as follows: “To provide at-risk youth the opportunity to develop self-esteem, respect, discipline and goal-setting. We seek to offer our participants an opportunity to belong, to learn and to pass on their knowledge in a supportive, positive and caring environment.”
the program, it is hoped that participants will learn and develop such
character traits as trustworthiness, respect, selflessness, friendliness
and consideration and will become responsible, loving, caring and fair
individuals. Steps taken to facilitate this mission are to identify the
children who need help, notify their parents and conduct family interviews,
refer families to appropriate local agencies, conduct monthly family
seminars, provide positive alternative activities and to monitor the
children for at least a year.
Run primarily by volunteers, Jeopardy is financed entirely by donations and gifts. Without the help of local and corporate sponsorships, Jeopardy would not exist. “As members of our community, it is time to realize that this continually growing gang problem is not going to disappear on its own,” says Dr. Barry Leonard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mid Valley Jeopardy. “The children of our community need to know that there are alternatives to gangs; that there is a place to belong, to meet new friends, to feel safe and to develop physically and mentally. They need to know that there are people who will care about them now and in the future.”