Identifying And Addressing A Gang Problem

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Information about Identifying And Addressing A Gang Problem

Published on August 20, 2008

Author: NCPC

Source: slideshare.net

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Identifying and Addressing a Gang Problem National Crime Prevention Council 2006

Objectives Look at a definition of a gang Look at prevention and intervention strategies Learn several indicators and risk factors of gangs in your community Explore tips of what can be done by parents, schools, and neighbors to prevent gang activity

Look at a definition of a gang

Look at prevention and intervention strategies

Learn several indicators and risk factors of gangs in your community

Explore tips of what can be done by parents, schools, and neighbors to

prevent gang activity

What is a Gang? There is no nationally accepted definition, but most agree on the following elements: A group of three or more people These people share a common identifying sign, symbol, or name Gang members individually or collectively engage in an ongoing pattern of criminal or delinquent activity They are often between 12 and 24

There is no nationally accepted definition, but most agree on the following elements:

A group of three or more people

These people share a common identifying sign, symbol, or name

Gang members individually or collectively engage in an ongoing pattern of criminal or delinquent activity

They are often between 12 and 24

Crime and Gang Involvement Serious and Chronic Offenders Gang Leaders Illegal Gun and Drug Suppliers     Other Active Gang Members and Associates Children and Adolescents at High Risk for Gang Involvement General Population of Youth and Families Living in High Risk Areas Share of Illegal Activity Relative Share of Population

Types of Gangs Traditional gangs Business/profit gangs White hate gangs Copy-cat gangs Delinquent social gangs

Traditional gangs

Business/profit gangs

White hate gangs

Copy-cat gangs

Delinquent social gangs

Conditions that Enable Gangs To Grow Socializing agents are ineffective Abundance of free and unstructured time Limited exposure and access to good jobs and careers A place to congregate, a well-defined neighborhood

Socializing agents are ineffective

Abundance of free and unstructured time

Limited exposure and access to good jobs and careers

A place to congregate, a well-defined neighborhood

Do we have a gang problem? Are our children at risk of joining a gang?

Indicators of Possible Gang Involvement Purchasing or desire to buy or wear clothing of all one color or style Changing appearance with special haircuts, eyebrow markings, or tattoos Using hand signs

Purchasing or desire to buy or wear clothing of all one color or style

Changing appearance with special haircuts, eyebrow markings, or tattoos

Using hand signs

Indicators of Possible Gang Involvement (cont.) Gang graffiti on folders, desks, walls, and buildings Developing a bad attitude towards family, school, and authorities Staying out later than usual Carrying weapons

Gang graffiti on folders, desks, walls, and buildings

Developing a bad attitude towards family, school, and authorities

Staying out later than usual

Carrying weapons

Indicators of Possible Gang Involvement (cont.) Withdrawing from family activities Changing friends; spending time with undesirable people Having more money or possessions

Withdrawing from family activities

Changing friends; spending time with undesirable people

Having more money or possessions

Hand signs are used to show allegiance to a specific gang.

Some gangs also use symbols to identity their gang. This gang is called “Mara Salvatrucha,” clique-Centrales

“ Mi Vida Loca”- My Crazy Life Tear Drop

Is All Graffiti Gang Graffiti? No, some graffiti is tagger graffiti .

No, some graffiti is tagger graffiti .

What is Tagger Graffiti? It is usually more artistic.

It is usually more artistic.

What Can We Learn From Graffiti? Gangs may use graffiti to claim a particular area as their turf.

Graffiti may show what gangs are fighting, arguing, or “beefing.”

Graffiti may present the gang roll call.

Graffiti may present the gang roll call.

Why Individuals Join Gangs Fun and excitement Identity and sense of belonging Peer pressure Financial gain/drugs Protection A family tradition A failure to understand what being in a gang means

Fun and excitement

Identity and sense of belonging

Peer pressure

Financial gain/drugs

Protection

A family tradition

A failure to understand what being in a gang means

Who Joins Gangs? Recruits generally range in age from 12 to 24 years Most members are boys, but 10 percent of all gang members are girls All ethnic groups and income levels are represented, and gangs are found in all parts of the country Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of gang involvement

Recruits generally range in age from 12 to 24 years

Most members are boys, but 10 percent of all gang members are girls

All ethnic groups and income levels are represented, and gangs are found in all parts of the country

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of gang involvement

Associated Risk Factors Living in an area with a high level of gang activity, drug/alcohol use, available firearms Lack of a positive support system at home Violence against family members Exposure to TV shows, movies, and/or music that glorifies violence

Living in an area with a high level of gang activity, drug/alcohol use, available firearms

Lack of a positive support system at home

Violence against family members

Exposure to TV shows, movies, and/or music that glorifies violence

Associated Risk Factors (cont.) Lack of alternative activities, such as community youth programs Lack of positive role models Low self-esteem and/or a sense of hopelessness about the future Poor decision-making and communication skills Too much unsupervised free time

Lack of alternative activities, such as community youth programs

Lack of positive role models

Low self-esteem and/or a sense of hopelessness about the future

Poor decision-making and communication skills

Too much unsupervised free time

Associated Risk Factors (cont.) Poor school achievement Problematic child-parent relationship Lack of respect for authority (parents, teachers, law enforcement officers) Family members who are or were gang members

Poor school achievement

Problematic child-parent relationship

Lack of respect for authority (parents, teachers, law enforcement officers)

Family members who are or were gang members

Responding to a Gang Problem Prevention Primary and secondary Intervention Suppression Reentry

Prevention

Primary and secondary

Intervention

Suppression

Reentry

TIPS What Parents Can Do

What Parents Can Do Be a positive role model. Do everything possible to involve your children in supervised, positive group activities. Praise your children for doing well and encourage them to do their very best. Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.

Be a positive role model.

Do everything possible to involve your children in supervised, positive group activities.

Praise your children for doing well and encourage them to do their very best.

Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.

What Parents Can Do (cont.) Set limits for your children, and enforce them. Do not allow your children to dress in gang-style clothing, to practice gang hand signs, or to write gang graffiti on any surface, including their bodies.

Set limits for your children, and enforce them.

Do not allow your children to dress in gang-style clothing, to practice gang hand signs, or to write gang graffiti on any surface, including their bodies.

What Parents Can Do (cont.) Know where your children are at all times, and schedule activities to occupy their free time. Get involved in your children’s education, and encourage them to stay in school. Be active in the PTA. Teach your children to set positive goals, to hold high standards, and to prepare for a positive future.

Know where your children are at all times, and schedule activities to occupy their free time.

Get involved in your children’s education, and encourage them to stay in school. Be active in the PTA.

Teach your children to set positive goals, to hold high standards, and to prepare for a positive future.

What Parents Can Do (cont.) Explain to your children that only a very small percentage of youth join gangs. Help your children to understand the natural consequences of being involved in a gang. The more connected a child is with family, school, community, and positive activities, the less likely he or she will be attracted to gangs.

Explain to your children that only a very small percentage of youth join gangs.

Help your children to understand the natural consequences of being involved in a gang.

The more connected a child is with family, school, community, and positive activities, the less likely he or she will be attracted to gangs.

TIPS What Schools Can Do

What Schools Can Do Identify at-risk students and students who are already gang members. Encourage them to participate in sports, drama, music, art, and other positive activities that will increase their confidence and sense of belonging. Don’t allow anyone to wear gang clothing, paraphernalia, or other items associated with gang activity at school; don’t permit gang hand signals. Photograph and remove all graffiti from the school grounds and property. Promote afterschool programs that address the prevention of violence.

Identify at-risk students and students who are already gang members. Encourage them to participate in sports, drama, music, art, and other positive activities that will increase their confidence and sense of belonging.

Don’t allow anyone to wear gang clothing, paraphernalia, or other items associated with gang activity at school; don’t permit gang hand signals.

Photograph and remove all graffiti from the school grounds and property.

Promote afterschool programs that address the prevention of violence.

What Schools Can Do (cont.) Work with parents, counselors, School Resource Officers, and school personnel to determine when intervention is necessary and what steps should be taken. Ensure that gang and drug prevention are part of the curricula, and present gang and drug awareness programs to parents.

Work with parents, counselors, School Resource Officers, and school personnel to determine when intervention is necessary and what steps should be taken.

Ensure that gang and drug prevention are part of the curricula, and present gang and drug awareness programs to parents.

What Neighbors Can Do Get to know your neighbors and their children. Communicate. Maintain a standard for your neighborhood’s appearance that tells gangs that they are not welcome. Work with your local law enforcement agency to develop a community strategy against gangs.

Get to know your neighbors and their children.

Communicate.

Maintain a standard for your neighborhood’s appearance that tells gangs that they are not welcome.

Work with your local law enforcement agency to develop a community strategy against gangs.

Getting Out of a Gang Speak to a counselor, police officer, clergy, or other professionals about ways youth can create distance between themselves and the gang. Relocate. Get information about tattoo removal programs.

Speak to a counselor, police officer, clergy, or other professionals about ways youth can create distance between themselves and the gang.

Relocate.

Get information about tattoo removal programs.

Notable Quotes “ Knowing gang life was so surrounded by death, I don’t know how anyone could WANT to get into a gang.” Miss Moni, former gang member “ The way out is not by guns and violence. It is by using [your] minds. Educate yourself.” EZ-T, former gang member Quotes taken from Gangstyles; www.streetgangstyle.com

“ Knowing gang life was so surrounded by death, I don’t know how anyone could WANT to get into a gang.”

Miss Moni, former gang member

“ The way out is not by guns and violence. It is by using [your] minds. Educate yourself.”

EZ-T, former gang member

Quotes taken from Gangstyles; www.streetgangstyle.com

Gang Program Resources National Youth Gang Center Website www.iir.com/nygc OJJDP Summary: Youth Gang Programs and Strategies (Howell, 2000) www.iir.com/nygc/PublicationLinks.htm#YGPI Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide (BJA, 1998) www.iir.com/nygc/PublicationLinks.htm#CAYG

National Youth Gang Center Website www.iir.com/nygc

OJJDP Summary: Youth Gang Programs and Strategies (Howell, 2000) www.iir.com/nygc/PublicationLinks.htm#YGPI

Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide (BJA, 1998) www.iir.com/nygc/PublicationLinks.htm#CAYG

Gang Program Resources (cont.) G.R.E.A.T Programs www.great-online.org National Crime Prevention Council: Teens, Crime, and the Community www.ncpc.org/tcc National Youth Gang Center www.irr.com/nygc Latin American Youth Center www.layc-dc.org National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center www.safeyou.org

G.R.E.A.T Programs

www.great-online.org

National Crime Prevention Council: Teens, Crime, and the Community

www.ncpc.org/tcc

National Youth Gang Center

www.irr.com/nygc

Latin American Youth Center

www.layc-dc.org

National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center

www.safeyou.org

Special Thanks to Fairfax County, VA Police Department for much of the material in this presentation

National Crime Prevention Council 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Thirteenth Floor Washington, DC 20036 202-466-6272 202-296-1356 (fax) www.ncpc.org Used with permission from the Bureau of Justice Assistance September 2006

1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Thirteenth Floor

Washington, DC 20036

202-466-6272

202-296-1356 (fax)

www.ncpc.org

Used with permission from the Bureau of Justice Assistance

September 2006

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