U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Cut From the Same Cloth? A Comparative Study of Domestic Extremists and Gang Members in the United States

NCJ Number
250780
Date Published
Author(s)
David C. Pyrooz, Gary LaFree, Scott H. Decker, Patrick A. James
Annotation
Despite calls for research on the similarities and differences between violent extremist groups and criminal street gangs, there have been few empirical comparisons. The current study developed a comparative model that emphasizes explicit, spurious, and indirect linkages between the two groups and used national sources of data on domestic extremists and gang members—the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)—to compare them across group involvement, demographic, family, religion, and socioeconomic status characteristics.
Abstract
Six percent of domestic extremists in PIRUS have a history of gang ties, which constitutes a minimal proportion of domestic extremists and is likely the rare exception among the population of gang members. Gang extremists more closely resemble non-gang extremists in PIRUS than they do gang members in the NLSY97. While these groups have some similarities, one of the major differences is that gang members are younger than domestic extremists. This likely contributes to many of the other differences between the groups across the life course, including marriage, parenthood, unemployment, and education. Given that the evidence is most consistent with the independence model, further comparative testing is needed before generalizing gang-related policies and programs to domestic extremism. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: June 15, 2017