have members who range from marginal to hard core or leaders.
*They meet often and their primary function is to engage in criminal behavior with both
group participation and group backing.
*They often satisfy the need to belong by having a gang name, being identified by a slogan
and a descriptive logo, greeting each other with a unique handshake or hand signs, modifying verbal or alphabetic greetings
and claiming strategic segments of local community territory as turf, often at the inherent peril of young, adult and elderly
The profile of the modern-day gang is markedly different than the
gangs of the past and their activity, younger members, paraphernalia and their aims and goals have also changed considerably.
Gang members today are more mobile, more intimidating, have greater
access to a much wider range of deadlier weapons and explosives, are more involved in drug trafficking, and are less concerned
about protecting what they consider their turf than ever before.
The traditional on-foot, hit-and-run attacks against innocent
victims, vulnerable merchants and rival gangs have escalated to drive-by shootings, often injuring or killing innocent bystanders
of all ages and causing untold property damage.
While youth and street gangs exist in all fifty states, Canada, the Caribbean, and abroad,
they are no longer confined to inner cities. Their gang sets have spread to rural and suburban areas as well. Only a few large
cities are gang-free and half of cities and towns with populations under 25,000 residents have gang problems.
A youth gang member is defined as either being male or female under the age of eighteen.
Younger children are used as weapons carriers and errand runners since gang members know that the courts will be more lenient
on youngsters in that age group. School students who are gang members often use
the school campus as a site for violence, intimidation and drug distribution.
Contrary to common beliefs, females are joining gangs in record numbers. They are no longer
simply appendages to male-dominated gangs or merely transport couriers of drugs and weapons. Female only gangs and membership
are on the rise.
There is no single reason for young and impressionable youth to
become involved in gangs and criminal activity, but a host of personal, societal, and socio-economic reasons, stemming from:
*lack of jobs, education and opportunities,
*the self-perceived need for personal protection.
American law enforcement officers and agencies readily agree that simply arresting youth
involved in gang warfare is not the long-term answer.
It is important that communities work together with law enforcement and schools to combat
gang problems using alternative programs that combine prevention, intervention and suppression.
GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS,
now available from the USCCCNII/National Crime Commission, a South Orange, New Jersey-based
investigative research organization addressing and seeking solutions to timely societal issues, has been created by a youth
counselor, a police officer and a school teacher to help ordinary citizens and professionals, whose work involves gangs and
violent groups, to clarify what they may already know and build upon that knowledge so that they can develop or join a community-based
anti-gang program in their locale.
The much-needed handbook successfully directs its readers
and users to a host of anti-gang-related resources and provides invaluable assistance in acquiring additional information.
Contents of the innovative 276-page...
GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS
*a general background and a comprehensive view of gangs,
*commonly-asked questions about gangs,
*the various gang types operating in America,
*graffiti, dress and monikers,
*language and alphabetic deviations,
*the gang lifestyle from jump-in initiations to gang member burials,
*wanna-be youngsters to active youth and adult gang membership,
*weapons and drugs,
*the impact of gangs on citizen life and community well-being,
*the collective effects of gangs,
*gang involvement and crime to schools, to the media, and even within the corporate boardroom.
Its vital chapters also address effective problem-solving methods available to various sectors
of the community, and community-based anti-gang programs that have been proven effective while incorporating involvement and
support by local businesses, service organizations, law enforcement, educators and schools, parents and youth to successfully
control gang involvement and its associated violence and crime.
Whether you are a parent, an educator, a member of law enforcement, an elected official, or
just a concerned citizen, you will find the answers to your questions about gangs in...
GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS.
The easy-to-understand format of the handbook incorporates anecdotes, dramatizations of
real-life gang activity, and specific gang information and will be an important asset for its users..
An added personal feature to the handbook includes Voices from the Front, which focuses
on and highlights actual verbal accounts from gang members, ex-gang members, and citizens personally affected by gang and
Additional information relating to:
GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS
GANGSTA IN THE HOUSE (Book - Audio and VHS)
THE AMERICAN FOCUS ON GANGS
Created by L. Louis Jordam, Director of Police
Asbury Park (NJ) Police Department
may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: