The social context of gangs in St. Louis, research on gangs in the city, and gang homicide are reviewed, and findings of the Socialization to Gangs in St. Louis Project are presented in this executive summary.
The first part of the document considers the social context of gangs in St. Louis and covers empirical research on gangs in St. Louis, gang homicides in St. Louis, and linking research and practice in the form of the St. Louis SafeFutures Program and the Socialization to Gangs in St. Louis Project. The second part of the document presents key findings of the Socialization to Gangs in St. Louis Project. Findings on gang involvement and delinquency showed higher levels of self-reported delinquency for gang members and linked self-reported gang membership to official record data from the juvenile court on status offending and delinquency. Gang membership was associated with higher levels of delinquency in official records and on self-report measures. Follow-up interviews with 94 gang-involved respondents shed light on a number of key issues regarding gangs, youth policy, and juvenile offending. Three distinct subgroups of gang involvement were identified: current, associate, and former members. The absence of statistically significant differences across the three groups suggested gang involvement was not a master status among adolescents and immersion in gang life was not complete.
Date Published: January 1, 2000