Former Gang Members Used Their Criminal Pasts To One-Up Other Job Applicants In Tennessee

Chicago gang hug policeA member of a Chicago street gang gets a hug from a former gang member and current activist in 2010.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you had an unblemished criminal past, you shouldn’t have even bothered applying to work for a new anti-gang program in Tennessee.The program will employ five former gang members and convicted felons who will use their experience to target violent crime, The Commercial Appeal reported, noting the “blemish-free weren’t even considered.”

These new contract workers will essentially use their street cred to mediate gang disputes.

It all sounds a bit unorthodox, but programs such as this one have existed in Los Angeles and Chicago for a decade now, and they have brought glowing results, according to the Appeal.

Gang-related homicides in Los Angeles, for example, were cut down by 40 per cent from 2007 to 2011, according to the L.A.-based Urban Peace Academy, which will help train the former gang members in Memphis.

The Memphis program’s main focus will be homicide and aggravated assault and robberies among teens and young adults in two of the city’s most dangerous zones, according to The Appeal. 

Funding for the program will not come from the taxpayer’s pocket, but rather from two $250,000 grants over two years from Wells Fargo.

SEE ALSO: Judge Who Beat Daughter In Viral Video Now Has To Contend With This Woman >

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.