“Hope is Absolute”: Gang-Involved Women - Perceptions from the Frontline

Jana Grekul, Petrina LaRocque


Part of a larger ongoing project examining the gendered nature of Aboriginal gangs on the Prairies, this exploratory study focuses on the types of programs and services that have the potential to be effective in facilitating exits for women involved in these gangs. Based on interviews with eighteen frontline professionals and three (formerly) gang-involved women, the paper is informed by research by Giordano et al. (2002), which found that offenders, female and male, often experience environmental catalysts for change that precede their decision to leave the criminal lifestyle. Through interviews with staff who work directly with gang-involved individuals, we begin to explore the gang exit process and the types of programs and services that might capitalize on the readiness of women in particular to leave the gang lifestyle. While there is overlap between supports required to facilitate gang exit for males and females, respondents suggest gendered and racialized pathways into gangs have implications for gang exit processes.


Aboriginal gangs, women, vicitmization, gang exit, prevention, trauma

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5663/aps.v1i2.9845

Support: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada