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NCJ Number: 206312 Find in a Library
Title: Facts for Teens: Youth Gangs
Corporate Author: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Ctr
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
Sale Source: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Ctr
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Factsheet
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This fact sheet provides information about street gangs to teenagers.
Abstract: Once considered an urban problem, gang violence has spread to smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. There are more than 24,500 different youth gangs around the country, with more than 772,500 teenage and young adult members. A gang is defined as a group of people who engage in joint violent, illegal, or criminal activity. Gangs usually identify themselves with a common name and symbols. Research has estimated that teenagers who are gang members are more likely to commit serious and violent crimes and are more likely to be victims of homicide than non-gang members. There has been a steep increase in gang activity in the United States since the 1970’s, but since 1996 gang membership has decreased except in cities with populations of over 25,000. The average age of gang members is around 17 to 18 years. Approximately half of all gang members are 18 or older; these older gang members are much more likely to be involved in serious and violent crimes. Females are less likely to be involved with gangs than males, however, one 11-city survey of eighth-graders found that 38 percent of gang members were female. Further research has shown that 78 percent of female gang members have been involved in gang fights and 39 percent have attacked someone with a weapon. Teenagers join gangs for a many reasons, including excitement and a sense of belonging. Suggestions are offered for keeping teenagers away from gangs, such as finding positive ways to spend time, avoiding gang members, and not carrying weapons. Helpful links are offered for more information about gangs and how to steer clear of them. References
Main Term(s): Gang Prevention; Gang violence
Index Term(s): Female gangs; Gangs; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Note: Downloaded July 28, 2004.
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