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NCJ Number: 170825 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Gang Survey: Violence on the Rise?
Journal: Alternatives to Incarceration  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1998)  Pages:VIII-XI
Editor(s): T S Kapinos
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of a survey on youth gangs and youth gang activity focuses on the prevalence of gangs, law enforcement response, and who is responsible for addressing the gang problem.
Abstract: The National Youth Gang Center contacted more than 4,000 law enforcement agencies in 1995 and asked them to report from their records or estimate how many youth gangs were active in their localities in 1995. Of the 2,007 agencies reporting gang problems in 1995, 1,741 estimated a total of 23,388 youth gangs in their jurisdictions. The mean number of youth gangs reported by city police departments was 12, and the median number was 4. For those portions of the counties under the jurisdiction of sheriff's departments, the mean number of youth gangs was 23, and the median number was 5. One survey item asked for information on gang-related homicides. More than 400 agencies furnished data to the survey on this item, but preliminary analysis of the responses to this question has not been completed. Sixty-three percent of police departments and 48 percent of sheriff's departments reporting youth gang activity had specially allocated personnel to respond. Only 10 percent of all reporting localities thought their youth gang problems were getting better; the remainder believed their problems were staying about the same (41 percent) or were getting worse (49 percent). More than 1,200 responding agencies reported they had formal organizational responses to gangs, such as prevention or enforcement units. Approximately 73 percent of the 2,007 reporting agencies were able to provide reports or estimates of both the number of youth gangs and the number of gang members in their communities. Although encouraging, this also indicates that a significant number of law enforcement agencies need to improve their data collection. 20 figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Data collection; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Specialized investigative units; Specialized police operations
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