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Appendix A: 1998 National Youth Gang Survey Form for the Representative Sample

Your agency has been selected to furnish information for the 1998 National Youth Gang Survey. Your answers statistically represent those of hundreds of other law enforcement agencies that will not be surveyed—so your response is very important. Please return the survey by March 26, 1999.

Please return the completed survey form by fax or by mail to:

National Youth Gang Center
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
Post Office Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317–2729
Telephone Number: (800) 446–0912
Fax Number: (888) 323–7305
(This is a toll-free number.)

Survey Instructions

1. Please report data for Calendar Year 1998 (January 1 through December 31).

2. For the purpose of this survey, a “youth gang” is defined as: a group of youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to identify or classify as a “gang.” Do not include motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, or other exclusively adult gangs. Please base your responses on your records, your personal knowledge, and/or consultations with other agency personnel who are familiar with youth gangs.

3. Police departments should report only for their city/town.

4. Sheriff’s departments should report only for their unincorporated service area. Please exclude any contracted jurisdictions.

Agency Information

1. Name of Jurisdiction(s) Served (City, Town, or County): ______________

2. Law Enforcement Agency Name: ________________________________

3. Agency Mailing Address:

Street: ______________________________________________________

City: ____________ County: ___________ State: _____ Zip Code: _____

4. Name of Person Completing Survey:

First Name: _____________ MI: ____ Last Name: __________________

5. Title/Rank: __________________________________________________

6. Unit or Section: ______________________________________________

7. Telephone Number, with Area Code: _____ –_____–_____

8. Fax Number, with Area Code: _____ –_____–_____

Survey Questions

PLEASE NOTE: POLICE DEPARTMENTS SHOULD REPORT ONLY FOR THEIR CITY/TOWN. SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENTS SHOULD REPORT ONLY FOR THEIR UNINCORPORATED SERVICE AREA. PLEASE EXCLUDE ANY CONTRACTED JURISDICTIONS.

1. During 1998, were any youth gangs active in the city, town, or county served by your agency?

Yes No Do not know

IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO QUESTION 1, PLEASE CONTINUE.

IF YOU ANSWERED “NO” or “DO NOT KNOW” TO QUESTION 1, THAT COMPLETES THE SURVEY. PLEASE RETURN THE FORM BY MAIL OR FAX.

2. How many youth gangs (as defined in the Survey Instructions) were active in your jurisdiction during 1998?

Number of active youth gangs _______ Do not know

3. What was the total number of active youth gang members in your jurisdiction during 1998? An active gang member is defined as someone who was involved in gang activity with other gang members during 1998.

Number of active youth gang members _______ Do not know

4a. What is the percentage of all the youth gang members reported in Question 3 who are:

Male _______% Female _______% Do not know

4b. What percentage of the youth gangs reported in Question 2 are made up entirely or mostly (more than 50%) of females?

Female youth gangs _______% Do not know

5a. Considering all the youth gang members reported in Question 3, what is your estimate of the percentage who are:
Age Percentage
under 15 ________%
15–17 ________%
18–24 ________%
over 24 ________%
Do not know

5b. How much has your jurisdiction’s youth gang problem been affected in the past few years by the return of adult gang-involved inmates from prison?

Very much

Somewhat

Very little

Not at all

Do not know

6a. Listed below are terms often used to describe the race/ethnicity of youth gangs and gang members. For your jurisdiction, what percentage of all youth gang members reported in Question 3 do you estimate are:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage
African American/black ________%
Hispanic/Latino ________%
Caucasian/white ________%
Asian ________%
Other ________% (Please identify) ____________
Do not know

6b. Some youth gangs are comprised almost exclusively of one racial/ethnic group. Others are more mixed. What percentage of the youth gangs reported in Question 2 have a significant mixture of two or more racial/ethnic groups?

Racially mixed youth gangs ________%     Do not know

Questions 7–9 ask about crimes committed by youth gang members. For the purpose of this survey, gang crime is defined as:

Member-based— A crime in which a gang member(s) is either the perpetrator or the victim, regardless of the motive; or

Motive-based— A crime committed by a gang member(s) in which the underlying reason is to further the interests and activities of the gang.

7. Which of these gang crime definitions does your agency most frequently use?

Member-based

Motive-based

Other (Please define): ________________________________________
___________________________________________________________

8. How many member-based homicides involving youth gang members do you estimate occurred in your jurisdiction during 1998?

Number of member-based homicides _______     Do not know

9. Of the number of member-based homicides you indicated in Question 8, how many motive-based homicides involving youth gang members do you estimate occurred in your jurisdiction during 1998?

Number of motive-based homicides _______     Do not know

10. How often did youth gang members use firearms in assaultive crimes in your jurisdiction during 1998?

Used often

Used sometimes

Used rarely

Not used

Do not know

11. Please estimate the proportion of youth gang members who engaged in the following offenses in your jurisdiction during 1998. (Please circle your response.)

None
( 0%)
Few
(1%–25%)
Some
(26%–74%)
Most/All
(75%–100%)
Aggravated Assault
None
Few
Some
Most/All
Robbery
None
Few
Some
Most/All
Burglary/Breaking and Entering
None
Few
Some
Most/All
Motor Vehicle Theft
None
Few
Some
Most/All
Larceny/Theft
None
Few
Some
Most/All
Drug Sales
None
Few
Some
Most/All

12a. During 1998, did your agency participate in a formal multiagency task force or collaborative effort that focused on youth gang problems as a major concern?

       Yes   No   Do not know

12b. Please name the task force or collaborative effort: __________________

__________________________________________________________

12c. If you answered “Yes” to 12a, which of the entities listed below were included?

Other police or sheriff’s department

Other criminal justice agency (federal or state law enforcement, court,
      prosecution, public defense, probation, parole, corrections, juvenile justice, etc.)

Other government entity (federal or state social service agency, U.S. or state
      legislature, city or county government, etc.)

School (state or local school board, local school, college, university, etc.)

Religious institution (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.)

Private social service agency

Community-based/citizens group

Private corporation

Other (Please identify) _____________________________________________

13. Drug gangs are groups organized specifically for the purpose of trafficking drugs. What percentage of the youth gangs reported in Question 2 would you consider drug gangs?

Drug gangs ________%     Do not know

14a. In order to clarify which elements of a “youth gang” your agency feels are important, please rank (from 1 to 6, with “1” being most important and “6” being least important) the following characteristics of a “youth gang” in terms of their importance in how your agency defines a youth gang:

________ It has a name

________ It has a leader or several leaders

________ The group hangs out together

________ The group displays or wears common colors or other insignia

________ The group commits crimes together

________ The group claims a turf or territory of some sort

14b. Please list any other characteristics of a “youth gang” that are important in how your agency defines a “youth gang”: _____________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

15. At the beginning of this survey, we gave you one definition of a “youth gang.” Below is another definition:

“A group of youths or young adults in your jurisdiction whose involvement in illegal activities over months or years marks them in their own view and in the view of the community and police as different from most other youthful groups. Do not include motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, or other exclusively adult gangs.”

What percentage of the youth gangs reported in Question 2 would meet the criteria of this modified definition?

Youth gangs using modified definition ______%  Do not know

16. Compared to 1997, was your youth gang problem in 1998:

Getting worse?

Getting better?

Staying about the same?

Do not know

Previous

1998 Youth Gang Survey
OJJDP Summary
November 2000