Rev. Gregory J. Boyle: Lessons from the Field: Kinship as an Intervention

Feb 22, 2017


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The battle against the recidivism of youthful offenders is one of Los Angeles County’s most difficult struggles. In 2015, The Los Angeles County Juvenile Probation Outcomes Study found that one-third of youth on probation from the county’s juvenile delinquency system are re-arrested within a year of their release. Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J. (Society of Jesus), an advocate for formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, delivered a public talk, “Lessons from the Field: Kinship as an Intervention.” A native of Los Angeles, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. In 1986, he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles. At the time, Dolores Mission was the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in the city. Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called “the decade of death” that began in the late 1980s. He, his parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treating gang members as human beings.