Selma, Alabama and surrounding Dallas County experience persistent gang violence. Last year, the city alone saw 16 shootings in one month. Many were directly blamed on gangs. District Attorney Michael Jackson believes he has a potential solution to the problem. He has designed and launched a new initiative “Adopt-A-Gang Member” to get the community involved in separating gang members from their dangerous lifestyles. Jackson believes getting gang members into the church can make them feel more worthwhile and could ultimately spare them from a life behind bars.
To get the program started, Jackson held a summit in Selma where he met with approximately 50 pastors. During the event, the District Attorney explained the program and its potential benefits. Jackson also believes church leaders are aware of which church members associate with gangs. With help from the pastors, he suggests the gang members can be identified, so they can receive targeted help. Finally, Jackson hopes getting the gang members involved in church activities will lure them away from the streets.