Statistics and Research on Gangs

2005 National Gang Threat Assessment
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Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), 2005. This report provides a national and regional picture of the threat posed by gangs to enable Federal, State, and local policymakers and law enforcement agency administrators to understand the dimensions of the national gang problem and assist them in formulating policy and allocating resources. Includes regional trends as well as sections for community response to gangs, and gangs' involvement with terrorist organizations. (NCJ 209594)

Causes and Correlates of Delinquency Program
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 1999. The purpose of this project is to determine how youth delinquency problems develop within the context of their community, family, and peers.

Early Precursors of Gang Membership: A Study of Seattle Youth
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), December 2001. The Seattle Social Development Project is a longitudinal study of youth living in high-crime neighborhoods and the predictors that lead to participation in gangs. (NCJ 190106)

Effect of Juvenile Justice System Processing on Subsequent Delinquent and Criminal Behavior: A Cross-National Study
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), October 2003. This study examined similarities and differences in juvenile justice systems at two sites in different countries (Denver, Colorado and Bremen, Germany) to determine the effects of distinct features of these systems on subsequent delinquency. In this way, the study might provide information about successful juvenile justice system practices. The project involved samples of high-risk subjects at the two sites.

Evaluating G.R.E.A.T.: A School-Based Gang Prevention Program
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2004. The results of a 5-year study of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program reveal that the program has modest positive effects on adolescent attitudes and delinquency risk factors but no effects on their involvement in gangs and actual delinquent behaviors. (NCJ 198604)

Evaluation of CeaseFire-Chicago
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Northwestern University, May 2008. findings of an evaluation of CeaseFire, a Chicagobased violence prevention program that was active in numerous sites in Illinois. The program is administered by the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CPVP), which is located at the University of Illinois’ School of Public Health. The evaluation focused on program development and implementation, and on its impact on clients and the community. It was conducted independently by a team from Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. The evaluation was funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Gang Activity in Orange County, California: Final Report to the National Institute of Justice
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), February 2000. Report on a study conducted by the University of California, Irvine, at the request of the Orange County Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association (OCCSA) to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of OCCSA's community-based, multi-agency efforts to address gang violence and to help develop strategies to prevent and control illegal gang activity. Also evaluated was the OCCSA's Gang Incident Tracking System. (NCJ 181424)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. This report provides data on how street gang crime patterns related to common patterns of street gang structure provide focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control. (NCJ 188511)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses: A Summary Report
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. Provides data on how street gang crime patterns related to common patterns of street gang structure provide focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control. (NCJ 188510)

Gun Use by Male Juveniles: Research and Prevention
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), July 2001. This bulletin draws on data from OJJDP's Rochester Youth Development Study to examine patterns of gun ownership and gun carrying among adolescents. Also addresses the interrelationship between gangs and guns and describes efforts to reduce the illegal carrying of guns by youth. (NCJ 188992)

Highlights of the 1999 National Youth Gang Survey
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), November 2000. This fifth annual gang survey conducted by the National Youth Gang Center indicates that 3,911 jurisdictions in the Untied States experienced gang activity in 1999, a 19 percent decline from the high of 4,824 in 1996. (NCJ 185315)

Highlights of the 2000 National Youth Gang Survey
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), February 2002. This report summarizes the methodology and findings of the 2000 National Youth Gang Survey, which solicited information on youth gangs from 1,216 police departments serving all larger cities, 661 suburban county police and sheriff's departments, a randomly selected sample of 398 police departments serving cities with populations between 2,500 and 24,999, and a randomly selected sample of rural county police and sheriff's departments. (NCJ 193445)

Highlights of the 2001 National Youth Gang Survey
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 2003. This seventh annual survey conducted by the National Youth Gang Center showed that an estimated 3,000 jurisdictions across the United States experienced gang activity in 2001. (NCJ 200139)

Highlights of the 2002 National Youth Gang Survey
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 2004. This is the eighth annual survey conducted by the National Youth Gang Center. The report provides preliminary evidence that the overall number of jurisdictions experiencing gang problems in a given year may be stabilizing. (NCJ 204957)

Highlights of the 2002-2003 National Youth Gang Surveys
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), June 2005. This report presents highlights of the 2002-2003 National Youth Gang Surveys, which solicited information from police departments on gangs in their jurisdictions. Of the 2,405 law enforcement agencies that received questionnaires, 95 percent responded to the 2002 and/or 2003 survey (1,524 responded in both survey years; the remaining 5 percent did not respond in either survey year). (NCJ 210490)

Highlights of the 2004 National Youth Gang Survey
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 2006. This fact sheet presents the main findings from the 2004 National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS). The findings indicated that 29 percent of county and city law enforcement jurisdictions that were surveyed experienced youth gang problems during 2004. Breaking this figure down by type of area revealed that 82 percent of larger cities, 42 percent of suburban counties, 27 percent of smaller cities, and 14 percent of rural counties reported youth gang problems. (NCJ 214253)

Highlights of the 2007 National Youth Gang Survey
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National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), April 2009. Since 1995, the NYGC has conducted a systematic survey of law enforcement agencies across the United States regarding the presence and characteristics of local gang problems. The nationally representative sample was selected in 2002 and includes the following agencies: all police departments that serve cities with populations of 50,000 or more (n=624, larger cities); all suburban county police and sheriffs’ departments (n=739, suburban counties); a randomly selected sample of police departments that serve cities with populations between 2,500 and 49,999 (n=694, smaller cities); and a randomly selected sample of rural county police and sheriffs’ departments (n=492, rural counties). The findings show that in 2007 an estimated 3,550 jurisdictions served by city and county law enforcement agencies experienced gang problems and an estimated 788,000 gang members and 27,000 gangs were active in the United States. Other details regarding youth gangs are provided. Data collected using a survey defining youth gangs as “a group of youth or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to identify as a gang;” motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, and exclusively adult gangs were excluded from the survey. Tables and figure (NCJ 225185)

National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, Final Report
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), September 2002. A report on the multiyear, multifaceted evaluation of one school-based gang-prevention program, the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program, in which uniformed law enforcement officers teach a 9-week curriculum to middle school students. (NCJ 196447)

National Gang Crime Research Center
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National Gang Crime Research Center (NGCRC), n.d. The NGCRC conducts research on gangs and gang members, disseminates information through publications and reports, and provides training and consulting services.

National Gang Threat Assessment 2009
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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), February 2009. According to the 2009 National Gang Threat Assessment released by the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) and the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), approximately one million gang members belonging to more than 20,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of September 2008. The assessment was developed through analysis of available federal, state, and local law enforcement information; 2008 NDIC National Drug Threat Survey (NDTS) data; and verified open source information.

National Institute of Justice 2002 Annual Report
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), 2002. Highlights NIJ's research and development activities during fiscal year 2002 in such areas as terrorism, violence against women and family violence, science and technology, and community safety. Details NIJ's increased commitment to program evaluation and describes how new-look print and electronic products and electronic-based dissemination will make policy relevant research more readily available to policymakers and practitioners. Also contains financial and web data and lists of awards, conferences, and products. (NCJ 200338)

National Youth Gang Survey, 1999-2001
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), National Youth Gang Center (NYGC), July 2006. This report provides the results of the 1999, 2000, and 2001 National Youth Gang Survey as well as the preliminary results from the 2002 survey. Overall, the findings reveal the significant variability in the characteristics and behaviors of gangs across the Nation, indicating that communities should comprehensively assess their local gang problem before developing prevention programming. Communities are urged to adopt the Comprehensive Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Model, which identifies the most promising strategies for reducing gang problems. (NCJ 209392)

OJJDP News @ a Glance: New Program Supports Community Anti-gang Efforts
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), September 2003. The Gang Reduction Program (GRP), a priority of the OJJDP, is underway in four pilot sites and has a clear goal: reducing youth gang crime and violence in targeted neighborhoods by helping communities take an integrated approach to applying proven practices in primary and secondary prevention, intervention, suppression, and reentry. (NCJ 201826)

Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), September 2000. This publication offers a solid foundation on which to build a comprehensive strategy to prevent youth gang involvement, examining the youth gang problem within the larger context of juvenile violence. Describes key characteristics of youth gangs, and the risk factors for gang membership, including individual and family demographics, personal attributes, and peer group, school, and community factors. (NCJ 182210)

Preventing Violence the Problem-Solving Way
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 1999. This bulletin describes the specific interpersonal cognitive problem-solving skills that relate to high-risk behaviors and their use by "Raising a Thinking Child," a primary prevention program for children ages 4 to 7 and their parents. By teaching their children to think first and to think constructively, parents can contribute to preventing violence the problem-solving way. (NCJ 172847)

Regional Information Sharing Systems ATIX (RISS ATIX)
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Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), n.d. RISS ATIX™ participants include executives and officials from governmental and nongovernmental entities. Participants are designated into a specific group based on their role regarding the prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery efforts of terrorism and disasters. Each group is referred to as an ATIX community. ATIX communities include local, county, state, tribal, and federal government; law enforcement; emergency management; disaster relief; utilities; and, among others, the chemical, transportation, and telecommunication industries.

Responding to Gangs: Evaluation and Research
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), July 2002. A collection of papers representative of the National Institute of Justice's portfolio of gang-related research. Ten chapters present different aspects of gang problems and research. (NCJ 190351)

Strategies to Address Gang Crime: A Guidebook for Local Law Enforcement
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2008. To assist law enforcement and parents in identifying and addressing gang crime, the COPS Office has developed a variety of tools and resources including Strategies to Address Gang Crime: A Guidebook for Local Law Enforcement. Author Scott H. Decker, PhD provides information about developing and enhancing local law enforcement responses to gangs in their jurisdictions. The focus of the guidebook is on the use of problem-solving strategies to help agencies select the interventions most appropriate for their jurisdictions. In particular, the guidebook describes the SARA model (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment), a strategic problem-solving process with which local law enforcement is familiar and can apply to its local gang problem. This is the must-have resource to help law enforcement understanding the factors that contribute to their gang problem and select appropriate responses.

The Growth of Youth Gang Problems in the United States: 1970–98
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 2001. Provides information on statistical trends in the development of youth gang problems during the last 3 decades of the 20th century.

The Stop Snitching Phenomenon: Breaking the Code of Silence
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2009. The threatening nature of the stop snitching message intimidates witnesses and erodes trust between communities and police by undermining police efforts to involve communities in preventing and combating crime. This also threatens police agencies’ own ability to prevent and solve crime because it impedes investigations, arrests, and convictions, and could severely erode the criminal justice system. This report addresses the problem and includes case studies documenting successful law enforcement and community approaches that have been implemented.

Violence by Gang Members, 1993-2003
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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), June 2005. This report provides estimates of the number and rate of violent crimes committed by offenders that victims perceived to be members of gangs based on the National Crime Victimization Survey data. It also presents information on demographic characteristics of the victims of violence by gang members such as race, age, and gender, and characteristics of the incident such as police notification and number of offenders. (NCJ 208875)

Violent Crime Impact Teams (VCIT): Focus on Partnerships
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), April 2006. This COPS Innovation document provides background information on the Violent Crime Impact Team initiative and highlights the importance of partnerships as an essential component of its success. Through informational interviews with ATF supervisors in 12 sites, the reader will learn how existing relationships with other agencies and communities were strengthened and new, solid relationships were formed.

Youth Gang Bibliography
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National Youth Gang Center (NYGC), February 2001. A 110-page bibliography of gang literature that includes citations for over 2,000 books, journal articles, and manuscripts.

Youth Gangs: An Overview
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), August 1998. This OJJDP bulletin looks at the history of youth gangs and their demographic characteristics and assesses the scope of the youth gang problem, including gang problems in juvenile detention and correctional facilities. States that successful gang intervention and suppression must build on services already in place in our communities to develop a comprehensive approach that will enhance the capacity of the juvenile justice system. (NCJ 167249)