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For Immediate Release

April 24, 2009 Mark A. Gunnoe, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Public Affairs Officer (504) 589-3156
U.S. Marshals Service/Eastern District of Louisiana To Hold A Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program Graduation At Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School For Science And Technology On April 27, 2009 @10:00 a.m.
On Monday, April 27th, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. the United States Marshals Service Gang Resistance and Education Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program will hold a graduation for two sixth grade classes of forty seven students. The graduation will take place at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology, located at 1617 Caffin Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana. The attending students successfully completed a thirteen lesson G.R.E.A.T. curriculum instructed by Deputy U.S. Marshals assigned to the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Guest speaker for the graduation will be Reverend John C. Raphael of New Hope Baptist Church. Rev. Raphael is the organizer of the “Yes We Care” event and is a devoted citizen concerned about the youth here in the city of New Orleans. U.S. Marshal Michael Credo will be attending the graduation with senior leaders of Federal, State and Local law enforcement from the New Orleans Metro area.

U.S. Marshal Michael Credo stated, “Law enforcement agencies must continue to take proactive steps to break the cycle of criminal activities that too many young people find themselves pushed towards. The G.R.E.A.T curriculum provides important decision making skills that empower the students of our community with the ability to avoid involvement with gangs and other criminal lifestyles and puts them on the path towards meaningful and successful lives.”

The Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T.) is a school based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum. The G.R.E.A.T. lessons focus on providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior, youth violence, and gang membership. The Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), administers the G.R.E.A.T. program. The U.S. Marshals, in collaboration with local law enforcement and community partners, began a nationwide initiative in 2007 to teach the G.R.E.A.T. program.