A street gang is a group of children, adolescents or adults ranging in ages from 8 to 80. They have members
who range from marginal to hard core or leaders. They meet often and their primary function is to engage in criminal behavior
with both group participation and group backing. They often satisfy the need to belong by having a gang name, being identified
by a slogan and a descriptive logo, greeting each other with a unique handshake or hand signs, modifying verbal or alphabetic
greetings and claiming strategic segments of local community territory as turf, often at the inherent peril of young, adult
and elderly community residents.
The profile of the modern-day gang is markedly different than the gangs of the past and their activity, their younger
members, gang paraphernalia and their aims and goals have also changed considerably.
gang members are more mobile, more intimidating, have greater access to a much wider range of deadlier weapons and explosives,
are more involved in drug trafficking, and are less concerned about protecting what they consider their turf than ever before.
The traditional on-foot, hit-and-run attacks against innocent victims, vulnerable merchants and rival gangs have escalated
to drive-by shootings, often injuring or killing innocent bystanders of all ages and causing untold property damage.
While youth and street gangs exist in all fifty states, Canada, the Caribbean, and abroad, they are no longer
confined to inner cities. Their gang sets have spread to rural and suburban areas as well. Only a few large cities are gang-free
and half of cities and towns with populations under 25,000 residents have gang problems. A youth gang member is defined as
either being male or female under the age of eighteen. Younger children are used as weapons carriers and errand runners since
gang members know that the courts will be more lenient on youngsters in that age group.
School students who are gang members often use the school campus as a site for violence, intimidation and drug distribution. Contrary to popular belief, females are joining gangs in record numbers. They are
no longer simply appendages to male-dominated gangs or merely transport couriers of drugs and weapons. Female only gangs and
membership are on the rise.
is no single reason for young and impressionable youth to become involved in gangs and criminal activity, but a host of personal,
societal, and socio-economic reasons, stemming from lack of jobs, education and opportunities to perceived self-worth, higher
status, acceptance and the self-perceived need for personal protection.
law enforcement officers and agencies readily agree that simply arresting youth involved in gang warfare is not the long-term
answer. It is important that communities work together with law enforcement and schools to combat gang problems using alternative
programs that combine prevention, intervention and suppression.
now available from the USCCCNII/AMERICAN FOCUS, a long standing New Jersey-based investigative research organization
addressing and seeking solutions to timely societal issues, has been created by a youth counselor, a police officer and a
school teacher to help ordinary citizens and professionals, whose work involves gangs and violent groups, to clarify what
they may already know and build upon that knowledge so that they can develop or join a community-based anti-gang program in
their locale. The much-needed handbook successfully directs its readers and users
to a host of anti-gang-related resources and provides invaluable assistance in acquiring additional information.
Contents of the innovative 276-page GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS
include a general background and a comprehensive view of gangs, commonly-asked questions about gangs, the various gang types
operating in America, graffiti, dress, monikers, language and alphabetic deviations, slang, the gang lifestyle from jump-in
initiations to gang member burials, wanna-be youngsters to active youth and adult gang membership, weapons and drugs, the
impact of gangs on citizen life and community well-being, the collective effects of
gangs, gang involvement and crime to schools, to the media, and even within the corporate boardroom.
Its vital chapters also address effective problem-solving methods available to various sectors of the community,
and community-based anti-gang programs that have been proven effective while incorporating involvement and support by local
businesses, service organizations, law enforcement, educators and schools, parents and youth to successfully control gang
involvement and its associated violence and crime.
Whether you are a parent, an educator, a member of law enforcement, an elected official, or just a concerned
citizen, you will find the answers to your questions about gangs in GANGS: A HANDBOOK FOR
COMMUNITY AWARENESS. The easy-to-understand format of the handbook incorporates anecdotes, dramatizations of real-life
gang activity, and specific gang information and will be an important asset for its users..
added personal feature to the handbook includes Voices from the Front, which focuses on and highlights actual verbal accounts
from gang members, ex-gang members, and citizens personally affected by gangs and gang violence.
Additional information relating to
and a host of timely and proven-effective community awareness resources may be obtained by sending a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to:
Post Office Box 663
South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080-0663 ...
.....Or By Completing The Inquiry Form Below and Clicking on the SUBMIT Button.