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National Youth Gang Survey

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $996,640)

The RAND Corporation, in partnership with Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), proposes to conduct a new edition of the National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) with an updated instrument that reflects the field’s current knowledge of gangs, gang behavior, and prevailing interventions aimed at preventing and reducing gang issues to guide the field in better decision-making to address gang problems. The research questions that will guide the survey effort aim to explore: (1) magnitude of youth gang activity across the United States, (2) characteristics of youth gang crimes across the United States, (3) approaches used by law enforcement to respond to youth gangs, and (4) new and emerging gang behaviors, trends, and responses.

In the first stage of the project, researchers will develop a survey instrument that is both consistent enough with prior NYGS surveys to allow longitudinal comparisons over time, but that also incorporates updated perspectives on gangs and key characteristics of interest to the field. Researchers will do so through a review of prior instruments as well as via consultations with an expert panel. The instrument will undergo cognitive testing and piloting.

Next, researchers will develop a sampling and data collection plan from a nationally representative sample of U.S. law enforcement agencies. Using current survey administration approaches that will expand participation in the survey while decreasing the burden of response, researchers will collect data that will enable us to produce accurate and reliable national estimates of gang presence, gang membership, and gang-related crime in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the United States. Researchers will also undertake additional analyses of (1) the characteristics of gang-related crimes, (2) changes over time in the prevalence and characteristics of gang presence, membership, and gang-related crimes, and (3) law enforcement strategies for gang prevention, intervention, and suppression.

Outputs from the study will include methodological reports; a final research report and statistical tables; a complete, archived data set; a set of journal articles; and research briefs for dissemination to the public. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2020