LOS ANGELES (AP) — Melissa Pirraglio spent 11 years in a gang, many of them in drug-addled despair seeking a way out.
She says many gang members have the same inkling that wants a better life.
Anti-gang crusaders have known for years that tapping that inkling can be the path to get youths out of gangs — the problem is finding it in young people hardened by deep mistrust of outsiders and little hope in their futures.
In a new experiment in the field of gang intervention, researchers in Los Angeles think they have a test to measure how likely a gang member is to leave the gang.
If a gang member's loyalty is wavering, counselors can step up efforts to encourage him to quit.