U.S. flag

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

Estimating the National Scope of Gang Crime From Law Enforcement Data (From Gangs in America, Second Edition, P 21-36, 1996, C Ronald Huff, ed. -- See NCJ-165296)

NCJ Number
G D Curry; R A Ball; S H Decker
Date Published
16 pages
A 1994 survey of law enforcement information on gangs, an extension of a 1992 national survey, provided data on the scope of gang crime problems in the United States and enabled the comparison of trends between 1975 and 1994.
The 1994 survey extended the 1992 survey in two ways: (1) chronologically, the survey updated information on 122 municipalities and 8 of 11 counties included in the 1992 survey; and (2) the survey was extended geographically to include data on all U.S. cities ranging in population from 150,000 to 200,000 and to include a random sample of 184 of 1,126 municipalities ranging in population from 25,000 to 200,000. Survey results showed the national magnitude of gang crime problems followed upward trends. The increasing number of gang crime cities identified by name in national surveys between 1975 and 1994 reflected an increased perception of the spread of gang crime problems by survey planners. The perception leading to a larger number of cities being included in each subsequent survey indicated a greater perceived presence of gang crime problems over the 20-year period. Likewise, the increase from the 6 gang crime cities identified in 1975 to the 282 gang crime cities identified in 1994 constituted a real expansion of the national gang crime problem, as reported by local law enforcement. The estimate of a total of 760 gang crime jurisdictions nationwide, produced from the 1994 survey, supported the conclusion of a geographic spread in gang crime problems. The increased number of gang members reflected individual youth who were offenders or victims in gang violence. Nationally, statistics indicated 8,625 gangs, 378,807 gang members, and 437,066 gang-related crimes in 1993. 3 tables and 3 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1996