Perception of the youth gang problem
In the 1998 survey, respondents were asked to compare their youth gang problem in 1998 with that in 1997 and to make a general assessment as to whether it was staying about the same, getting better, or getting worse. Most respondents said the problem was staying about the same (42 percent), 28 percent said it was getting worse, and 30 percent said it was getting better. Compared with 1997 survey respondents, who were asked to make comparisons with 1996, more 1998 respondents perceived that their gang problem was getting better. In 1997, 45 percent said the problem was staying about the same, 35 percent said it was getting worse, and 20 percent said it was getting better. Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of respondents in 1998 said their gang problem was either staying about the same or getting worse.