Nonprofit hopes to spread its anti-gang message
by Jaclyn Hirsch
Feb 10, 2010 | 1952 views | 4 4 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The new director of a local nonprofit hopes to start new anti-gang classes and counseling sessions targeting Tracy middle school students and their parents.

Samina Masood was hired as director of Vinewood Center for Children and Families this month and is already looking at how services it offers, such as working one on one with troubled kids, can be expanded. She said gang violence has become an increasing problem in middle schools and Vinewood is working with the city to help middle school students and their families.

“All any child who is in trouble needs is individual intense interaction,” Masood said.

Masood has lived in Tracy for five years and most recently worked for the Children’s Home of Stockton. She started as a social worker in Pakistan, where she grew up.

Former Southwest Park Elementary School teachers Regina Nordman and Dora Contreras founded Vinewood in 2001. The organization gets money from the city and state to work with troubled elementary school students one on one and in small group settings.

Vinewood has two $300,000 grants from the state and plans to apply for another one in March.

The new director wants to continue to offer social workers and licensed mental health clinicians an outlet to help kids. She also wants to help the public understand ethnic cultural differences, which she hopes will lessen crime and violence. Vinewood helps about 300 kids each school year, and more outside of the classroom.

Masood also wants to educate parents about what they can do when they see kids misbehave or wear gang colors. Vinewood offers a 10-week course, called the Parent Project, to teach parents how to help kids with behavioral and social issues such as gang affiliation or drug and alcohol use.

“It’s never too late to go in and do damage control,” Masood said.

Contact Tracy Press reporter Jaclyn Hirsch at 830-4269 or
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February 16, 2010
twinn93... So there are TWO bangers on the planet who have respect for someone's parents and you picked them as friends? Let's see how that acutally works in the real world...


Adolescents and Children Injured or Killed in Drive-By Shootings in Los Angeles


H. Range Hutson, Deirdre Anglin, and Michael J. Pratts


Background Drive-by shootings by violent street gangs contribute to early morbidity and mortality among adolescents and children in Los Angeles. This study attempted to determine the frequency of this problem and the population at greatest risk. We also studied the most frequently injured areas of the body, the seasons in which the most shootings occurred, the most common sites for drive-by shootings, and the types of firearms used.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed the files of the Gang Information Section of the Los Angeles Police Department to identify all drive-by shootings in Los Angeles in 1991 in which a child or adolescent under the age of 18 was shot at, injured, or killed.

Results A total of 677 adolescents and children were shot at, among whom 429 (63 percent) had gunshot wounds and 36 (5.3 percent) died from their injuries. Three hundred three of those with gunshot wounds (71 percent) were gang members. Arms and legs were the areas of the body most commonly injured. Handguns were the most frequently used type of firearm. All the homicide victims were African American or Hispanic, and 97 percent were boys. African American and Hispanic children and adolescents, especially male gang members, had a significantly higher risk than their Asian and white counterparts of injury and death from drive-by shootings in Los Angeles (P
Conclusions Drive-by shootings involving adolescents and children are frequent in Los Angeles. Although Los Angeles may be an atypical case, understanding why violent street gangs form, preventing causes of violence, and limiting access to firearms are essential steps in preventing this serious problem.

Source Information

From the Department of Emergency Medicine, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center (H.R.H., D.A.), and the University of Southern California (M.J.P.) -- both in Los Angeles.

Address reprint requests to Dr. Hutson at the Department of Emergency Medicine, Rm. 1011, Unit I, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, 1200 North State St., Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Related Letters:

Drive-by Shootings in Los Angeles

Iffy L., Madsen P., Hutson H. R., Anglin D.

Extract | Full Text

N Engl J Med 1994; 330:1833, Jun 23, 1994. Correspondence

This article has been cited by other articles:

BOUDREAUX, M. C., LORD, W. D., JARVIS, J. P. (2001). Behavioral Perspectives on Child Homicide: The Role of Access, Vulnerability, and Routine Activities Theory. Trauma Violence Abuse 2: 56-78 [Abstract]

Kopel, D. B., Blackman, P. H. (2000). Research Note: Firearms Tracing Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: An Occasionally Useful Law Enforcement Tool but a Poor Research Tool. Criminal Justice Policy Review 11: 44-62 [Abstract]

Howell, J. C. (1999). Youth Gang Homicides: A Literature Review. Crime Delinquency 45: 208-241 [Abstract]

Task Force on Violence, (1999). The Role of the Pediatrician in Youth Violence Prevention in Clinical Practice and at the Community Level. Pediatrics 103: 173-181 [Abstract] [Full Text]

Barkin, S., Duan, N., Fink, A., Brook, R. H., Gelberg, L. (1998). The Smoking Gun: Do Clinicians Follow Guidelines on Firearm Safety Counseling?. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 152: 749-756 [Abstract] [Full Text]

Schuster, M. A., Halfon, N., Wood, D. L. (1998). African American Mothers in South Central Los Angeles: Their Fears for Their Newborn's Future. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 152: 264-268 [Abstract] [Full Text]

BLACKMAN, P. H. (1997). A Critique of the Epidemiologic Study of Firearms and Homicide. Homicide Studies 1: 169-189 [Abstract]

KNAPP, T. P., PATZAKIS, M. J., LEE, J., SEIPEL, P. R., ABDOLLAHI, K., REISCH, R. B. (1996). Comparison of Intravenous and Oral Antibiotic Therapy in the Treatment of Fractures Caused by Low-Velocity Gunshots. A Prospective, Randomized Study of Infection Rates. JBJS 78: 1167-71 [Abstract] [Full Text]

Vassar, M. J., Kizer, K. W. (1996). Hospitalizations for Firearm-Related Injuries: A Population-Based Study of 9562 Patients. JAMA 275: 1734-1739 [Abstract]

Hutson, H. R., Anglin, D., Kyriacou, D. N., Hart, J., Spears, K. (1995). The Epidemic of Gang-Related Homicides in Los Angeles County From 1979 Through 1994. JAMA 274: 1031-1036 [Abstract]

Iffy, L., Madsen, P., Hutson, H. R., Anglin, D. (1994). Drive-by Shootings in Los Angeles. NEJM 330: 1833-1833 [Full Text]

February 16, 2010
Okay im tierd of people saying gangbangers don't have respect. I actually know a couple and they are NOT disrespectful. I understand what they do is bad but they have respect for elders and they dont hurt little kids. Plus that is a rude statement to say they snuck across the boarder, just because they live off welfare. You don't hear people saying that about black people or other nationalities. There are more gangs other then mexican ones, but for the most part thats all you hear about. You criticize on people and things you don't know. And why would you want someone to be deported? Thats taking there whole life away. What if that happend to you? You need to stop thinking of yourselves and start thinking of others. Gangs of many different forums have been around for centuries somethings take getting use to and the more you let it get to you the harder life is for you.
February 11, 2010
Gangbangers did not sneak across the border.K?

If, as you say, they were born to gangbanging parents on welfare, then that would contradict the first statement.

It is a matter of survival, A sense of belonging.

Yes, drugs are there. Drugs are everywhere. There are no social boundaries when it comes to that.

A big part of it is racial, or, ethnic opinions of inequality.

I don't agree with the practices of gangs but, I do understand it. I don't promote gangs either.

If you take a group of people, label them as antisocial misfits, that group will find their own kind. They will band together because there is strength in numbers.They will create their own support system w/resentments.
February 10, 2010
You might want to try starting with their parents. Many of these kids are just taking after mom and dad, gangbangers having gangbangers. These parents teach their children disrespect and have no moral values whatsoever. They are not only a danger and menace to this and other societies, they are also a major drain on our social services. They drain the welfare and health care systems by having large unplanned families on the taxpayer dime. Then they end up destroying our cities and hurting people. Then they are sent to prisons, once again draining the taxpayers wallets. This money could be spent on making a better society rather than cleaning up a problem that snuck across the border.

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