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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149357 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs and Gang Activity in Southern New Mexico: A Descriptive Look at a Growing Rural Problem
Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(1994)  Pages:25-44
Author(s): G L Mays; K Fuller; L T Winfree Jr
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 20
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because of concern over youth gangs by public policymakers, school officials, and law enforcement agencies, a school-based survey was conducted in 1991 to assess the gang situation in Dona Ana County, Mexico.
Abstract: The survey involved a random sample of 9th and 11th grade students in two county school districts, one urban and the other rural. The target sample consisted of 590 students, and 373 students completed self-administered questionnaires. The male:female ratio was 2.7:1, and 75.5 percent of respondents were Hispanic. Most youths claimed to have no contact with or interest in gangs. Survey findings showed that the gang problem in Dona Ana County was not of the same magnitude as that in Los Angeles and other large cities. Nonetheless, one in four New Mexico students said they were gang members, and another 28 percent were either interested in youth gangs or claimed membership in what the survey classified as a near-gang. Youths in near-gangs had just as high offending rates for personal crimes and nearly as high rates for vandalism and group context crimes as actual gang members. Not all gang-involved youths, however, reported high offending rates, even in group context crimes, particularly when controlling for gender and academic grades. The authors believe that gang delinquency should be treated as a social rather than as an individual problem. 22 references, 4 endnotes, and 5 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile offenders; New Mexico; Rural area studies; Rural urban comparisons; Students; Urban area studies
Note: Earlier version of paper presented at the Texas Tech Health Science Center's Second Annual Border Symposium, 1992, El Paso
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