JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow will unveil the brand new Spanish-language version of his full-color gang prevention book later this month during a gang prevention seminar hosted by his office, the Joliet Police Department, Joliet Township High School District and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
The gang prevention seminar is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., October 19 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 205 E. Jackson St., in Joliet. The event will mark the first time Spanish-language copies of the book, “Gangs: Awareness, Prevention, Intervention,” will be made available to concerned parents, educators and community leaders in the local Latino community.
State’s Attorney Glasgow, Joliet Deputy Police Chief Mike Trafton, Joliet Township High School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Swanstrom and Officer Moises Avila of the Joliet Police Department, will have a frank conversation with attendees about how to spot and how to combat street gang activity in their community.
“The Hispanic population in Will County and in Joliet has grown at an unprecedented rate,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “We felt it was critical to make this vital information as easily accessible to as many people as possible. The Spanish-language translation of the gang prevention book will help us reach concerned parents and teachers who live in some of our neighborhoods where street gangs are most active.”
Between 2000 and 2007, Will County’s Latino population grew by 122 percent. Latinos now make up more than 14 percent of Will County’s total population. In addition, 7 percent of Will County residents speak Spanish as their primary language.
“Gangs: Awareness, Prevention, Intervention,” is a 40-page, full-color educational book that provides information on the major gangs operating in Will County, as well as preventative measures parents and teachers can take to protect children from gang influences.
The state’s attorney developed the book in cooperation with Joliet Township High School District’s YESS! Initiative. Funding for the Spanish-language translation was provided through a federal Safe Schools, Healthy Students grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The state’s attorney used money seized from criminals engaged in narcotics or money laundering to fund printing costs.
The English version of “Gangs: Awareness, Prevention, Intervention” is available for download on the state’s attorney’s Web site at https://willcountysao.com. The Spanish-language version will be available for download on the Web site in the near future.
Copies of the gang prevention book in both Spanish and English are available free-of-charge to educators, community organizers and concerned parents who want to learn more about gang activity in their neighborhoods by calling the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office at (815) 727-8742.