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Gang Crime and Law Enforcement Recordkeeping, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1994
11 pages
Publication Series
A 1992 survey sponsored by the National Institute of Justice of metropolitan police departments in 79 large and 43 small U.S. cities showed that 72 large cities and 38 small cities were troubled by gangs.
Researchers contacted police department administrators in 79 large cities with populations of 200,000 or more, as well as 43 small cities and 11 county jurisdictions. In the 110 jurisdictions reporting gangs, the survey identified 249,324 gang members, 4,881 gangs, 46,359 gang-related crimes, and 1,072 gang-related homicides. Homicides and other violent crimes accounted for about half of all gang- related crime incidents. Most law enforcement agencies attempted various gang prevention approaches, including community organization, social intervention, opportunity provision, suppression, and organizational change. The proportion of female gang members who committed gang-related crimes was relatively small, about 3 to 4 percent. Although the overwhelming majority of gang members were black or Hispanic, the proportion of white youth involvement in gangs appeared to be increasing. Cities with gang problems generally reported far more gang members than gang-related incidents, but this may have reflected how statistics were recorded rather than the degree of criminal involvement. 19 notes and 8 exhibits

Date Published: June 1, 1994