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Criminal Justice Resources :


This compilation of resources focuses mostly on youth gangs. For more information about adult gangs, gangsters, and international gangs, look under Organized Crime.
A gang is a group of individuals who share a common identity and, in current usage, engage in illegal activities. Most commonly, the word "gang" refers to street gangs (a.k.a. youth gangs), groups who take over territory ("turf") in a particular city, sometimes simply for lack of something better to do, and are often involved in "providing protection" (in fact, a thin cover for extortion), or in other criminal activity. Since roughly the 1970s, street gangs have been strongly connected with drug sales (especially crack cocaine). Gangs have been known to claim colors such as red or blue, a trend that started as far back as the late 18th century and early 19th century with Mexican bandits and roving marauders in what would later become the Southwest/Western United States. (In the United States, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, "gang colors" can refer to the entire design of a gang jacket.) Visit the Gang entry from the Wikipedia for more information.

Once an urban problem, street gangs have now infiltrated U.S. communities large and small. Gang experts say at least 21,500 gangs — with more than 731,000 members — are active nationwide. Long-established domestic gangs like the Bloods and the Crips remain powerful, but the problem has worsened dramatically in recent years. Heavy immigration, particularly from Latin America and Asia, has introduced highly violent gangs like Mara Salvatrucha and the Almighty Latin Kings Nation. Bound by tight ethnic and racial ties, they often stymie police investigations by assaulting or killing potential witnesses. Having already diversified from illegal drugs into auto theft, extortion, property crimes and home invasion, some East Coast gangs have begun trafficking in fraudulent identification papers that could be used by terrorists. While experts agree gangs are more pervasive than ever, few agree on a remedy. Proposed legislation would increase penalties for gang membership and gang crimes, but critics say it won't solve the problem. Source: William Triplett, Gang Crisis: Do Police and Politicians Have a Solution?, CQ Researcher, Vol. 14, no. 18, May 14, 2004. Type in title in quick search box to retrieve.

18th Street/Dieciocho gang
El Salvador: Activities of the 18th Street/Dieciocho gang; gang recruitment; treatment of people who refuse to join the gang , 22 November 2002. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. November 22, 2002.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Adolescent Homicides in Los Angeles: Are They Different From Other Homicides? Summary
National Institute of Justice(NIJ)/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), April 2002. Summarizes the findings of an assessment of comparable samples of adolescent homicides and adult homicides in Los Angeles, concluding that gang factors loom large in the distinction between adolescent and other homicides.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Alcohol and Violence in the Lives of Gang Members

Life within a gang includes two endemic features: violence and alcohol. Yet, to date, most researchers studying gang behavior have focused on violence and its relationship to illicit drugs, largely neglecting the importance of alcohol in gang life. Because alcohol is an integral and regular part of socializing within gang life, drinking works as a social lubricant, or social glue, to maintain not only the cohesion and social solidarity of the gang, but also to affirm masculinity and male togetherness. In addition to its role as a cohesive mechanism, particular drinking styles within gangs may operate, as with other social groups, as a mechanism to maintain group boundaries, thereby demarcating one gang from another. Other examples of internal gang violent activities associated with drinking include fighting between members because of rivalries, tensions, or notions of honor or respect. At a more symbolic level, drinking is associated with two important ritual events in gang life: initiation, or "jumping in," and funerals. By better understanding the link between drinking and violence among youth gangs, steps can be taken to determine the social processes that occur in the development of violent behavior after drinking. Geoffrey P. Hunt, Ph.D. & Karen Joe Laidler, Ph.D., Alcohol and Violence, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2001, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
(Last checked 02/18/13)

America's Most Dangerous Gang
Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) is unfortunately becoming everybody’s problem. This plague that came to Long Island from El Salvador by way of the streets of Los Angeles follows the same migratory patterns as the Salvadoran immigrant community that it preys upon, fanning out across the United States from ethnic enclaves in California. Article by Shelly Feuer Domash appearing in Police, February 2005.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Asian American Gangs
In recent years, the issue of Asian American youth gangs has gotten a lot of attention from the media and law enforcement. This phenomenon shares many similarities with other "gang problems" in the Black and Latino communities. However, certain ethnic and cultural aspects come into play with Asian gangs that make their situation and consequences of their actions unique. A chapter from Asian-Nation : The Landscape of Asian America.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Assessment of Multi-Agent Approach to Drug Involved Gang Members
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), November 2000. This research assesses the efficacy of a multi-agency project charged with reducing gang crime, specifically drug offenses.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Best Practices To Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model
The report provides communities responding to a present or potential youth gang problem with guidance in implementing OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model. It describes the research informing the model, notes findings from evaluations of several programs demonstrating the model, and outlines best practices derived from practitioners with experience in planning and implementing the model in their communities. 74pp.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Bigotry Behind Bars: Racist Groups in U.S. Prisons
Driven by a belief in their superiority, white supremacist prison gangs contribute to increased racial tensions and violence in American penitentiaries. Not only do their activities undermine prison security, but their extreme rhetoric and animosity toward other races often stay with gang members long after their release. Prison officials estimate that up to 10 percent of the nation's prison population is affiliated with gangs. Anti-Defamation League, 2001.
Also listed under Corrections.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Bomb and Arson Crimes Among American Gang Members: A Behavioral Science Profile
Source: Fall 2001 Special Edition of the Journal of Gang Research focusing on Gangs and Terrorism.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

California Gang Investigators Association
The California Gang Investigator's Association was founded in 1977 to foster better relationships and networking among the various investigative units working street gangs in Los Angeles County and throughout the state of California. Over the years the Association has grown to include members across the nation and in Australia and Canada. Membership is limited to all law enforcement officers including corrections, prosecutors, parole, and probation. The web page also provides links to additional resources.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Chinatown Gangs (Book Review)
Book available in the MSU Main Library
In Chinatown Gangs, Ko-lin Chin penetrates a closed society and presents a rare portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown. Based on first-hand accounts from gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this pioneering study reveals the pervasiveness, the muscle, the longevity, and the institutionalization of Chinatown gangs. Chin reveals the fear gangs instill in the Chinese community. At the same time, he shows how the economic viability of the community is sapped, and how gangs encourage lawlessness, making a mockery of law enforcement agencies. Book description by Oxford University Press.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Chinatown Gangs

Gangs come in many different kinds. Chicago's Chinatown has long been home to a scattered assortment of youth gangs like those in other neigh-borhoods. Tongs and Triads however, have a long institutionalized history in Chicago. This page has links to original articles on Chicago Chinatown gangs as well as links to other sources. Courtesy of GangResearch.net. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Comprehensive Gang Model: Planning for Implementation
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), July 2002. Describes the model, and provides information on the data behind it, criteria for strategies to implement the model, developing an implementation plan, staffing, street outreach, evaluation, and lessons learned from five urban sites.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Coroner's Report
Aimed at parents and educators, this site is an in-depth look at street gangs. Gang history, symbols, characteristics, and intervention and prevention resources and information are addressed. It is a searchable site written by an expert in gangs and includes excerpts from a monthly newsletter and an annotated list of links to other relevant sites. Courtesy of Steve Nawojczyk, former Pulaski County Coroner of Little Rock, Arkansas and currently Director of Youth Services, Mayor's Office, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Developing A Gang Prevention Program: A Realistic and Distinctive Approach

Good resource on various strategies schools should consider implementing to effectively reduce and prevent gang problems. Details various operations, behaviour and engagement strategies. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Dreams, Gangs, and Guns : The Interplay Between Adolescent Violence and Immigration in a New York City Neighborhood
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), April 2002. The results of this study is the conclusion of ethnographic research of a neighborhood in NYC which showed that the generation gap between immigrant children and their parents caused them to rely on violent peer groups for protection.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services (ERIC CASS)
Virtual Library Reading Room
Youth Gangs

Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Establishment of a Police Gang Unit: An Examination of Rational and Institutional Considerations
U.S Department of Justice (DOJ), December 2000. This study uses a multidimensional method to ascertain the factors that shaped their decisions about a community's gang problem.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Female Gang Involvement in a Midwestern City: Correlates, Nature and Meanings
Department of Justice (DOJ), December 1999. A comparative survey conducted in Columbus, Ohio of young girls who are gang members and those who are not. Correlates gang involvement among girls, the life contexts shaping their participation, the meanings they attribute to it, and the structures and activities of the gangs and the girls' roles in them.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Female Gangs: Delinquency and Criminality of Female Gang Members
Whether female gangs are seen as a serious problem depends in large part on the level of their delinquent and criminal activities and the types of offenses they commit. Unfortunately, getting definitive information about these topics is difficult. It means working through many detailed studies, often conducted in several cities that differ in important ways. The findings of these studies are not easily generalized, but some conclusions can be drawn. This article reviews three major sources of information, draws some general conclusions about female gang members' delinquency and criminality, and then focuses on female gang members' involvement in drug dealing.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Female Gangs in America
Available in the MSU Main Library
Female Gangs have long been overlooked in the gang literature. While the gang has been long seen as a fundamentally male phenomena, the existence of female peer groups has not received careful scrutiny.
Recently, more attention has been paid to female gangs. An edited volume (seen at right) collexcts some of the most important historical and contemporary scholarship on female gangs. The essays introducing each section, written by Meda Chesney-Lind and John Hagedorn, are reprinted here in pdf format.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

The Five Percenters: Racist Prison Gang or Persecuted Religion?
Prisons offer plentiful and self-contained opportunities to explore the limits of American religious freedom. One recent case involves the clash between prison officials in South Carolina and a group called the Five Percenters. -- Jonathan Moore, Martin Marty Center, University of Chicago, Sightings, May 21, 1999.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Activity in Orange County, California: Final Report to the National Institute of Justice
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), February 2000. Report on a study conducted by the University of California, Irvine, at the request of the Orange County Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association (OCCSA) to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of OCCSA's community-based, multi-agency efforts to address gang violence and to help develop strategies to prevent and control illegal gang activity. Also evaluated was the OCCSA's Gang Incident Tracking System.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang and Drug-Related Homicide: Baltimore's Successful Enforcement Strategy
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), July 2003. This bulletin examines the phenomenon of violent inner-city gangs and introduces an investigative approach to combating these gangs in Baltimore, Maryland.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Cops Online
A gang identification information site for those in the criminal justice professions who want to share their expertise.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Crisis: Do Police and Politicians Have a Solution?
Campus Access
Off-Campus Access for MSU Students : Type in title in quick search box.
Once an urban problem, street gangs have now infiltrated U.S. communities large and small. Gang experts say at least 21,500 gangs — with more than 731,000 members — are active nationwide. Long-established domestic gangs like the Bloods and the Crips remain powerful, but the problem has worsened dramatically in recent years. Heavy immigration, particularly from Latin America and Asia, has introduced highly violent gangs like Mara Salvatrucha and the Almighty Latin Kings Nation. Bound by tight ethnic and racial ties, they often stymie police investigations by assaulting or killing potential witnesses. Having already diversified from illegal drugs into auto theft, extortion, property crimes and home invasion, some East Coast gangs have begun trafficking in fraudulent identification papers that could be used by terrorists. While experts agree gangs are more pervasive than ever, few agree on a remedy. Proposed legislation would increase penalties for gang membership and gang crimes, but critics say it won't solve the problem. William Triplett, CQ Researcher, May 14, 2004.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Education and Training Resource Guide
Provides a basic guide and review of common warning signs of a street gang presence. Education, intervention and prevention strategies are also provided. Compiled by GWC, Inc., Cahokia, Ill.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Enforcement Problems and Strategies: National Survey Findings
Johnson, Claire and B. Webster, E. F. Connors, and D. Saenz (1994). Journal of Gang Research. Chicago, IL: National Gang Crime Research Center, Chicago State University, Vol. 3, No. 1. This article discusses findings on combating gang crime based on a survey of 149 police departments and another survey of 118 prosecutors' offices.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Homicide in LA, 1989-2001
California Attorney General, February 2004. Explores youth gang homicide in Los Angeles County. Argues that the environment of LA has created a gang culture unique to the rest of California.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Life in East L.A.
Includes photographs from the book East Side Stories : Gang Life in East L.A., by powerHouse Books, New York, November, 1996. This book is also available in the MSU Main Library Chavez Collection.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Prevention Services
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Profile of the Black P. Stone Nation (BPSN)
The gang whose leader Jeff Fort tried to do contract terrorism work for Libya. Article by George W. Knox appearing in the Fall 2001 Special Edition of the Journal of Gang Research focusing on Gangs and Terrorism.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Prosecution in the United States
Webster, Barbara, and E. Connors (1994). Institute for Law and Justice. This report to the National Institute of Justice provides an assessment of state prosecution of criminal street gangs, based on a national survey of state prosecutors ; a review of state legislation; and case studies of how local prosecutors confront street gangs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Research.Net
This site "seeks to dispel stereotypes and present research, original documents, and helpful links." While focusing on Chicago gangs, there is information about gangs in other parts of the U.S. as well as the effect globalization has had on gangs. Gang Research provides basic information about what gangs are, female gangs, and the relationship of gangs to the War on Drugs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses: A Summary Report
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. Provides focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control. It estimates the national prevalence of various types of gang structures and perceived patterns of associated criminal activity and constructs crime profiles for the most common gang structures. Data sources include law enforcement gang experts in 59 cities and information from 110 candidate cities regarding their capacity to furnish crime data linked to different types of gangs. The study concludes that if the nation is to base gang-control policies on police-recorded gang data, then law enforcement will need major assistance in accurately reflecting the nature of gang arrests.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Structures, Crime Patterns, and Police Responses: Full Report
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), June 2001. Provides data on how street gang crime patterns related to common patterns of street gang structure provide focused, data-based guidelines for gang intervention and control.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Violence and Prevention: Research Review

Mary H. Lees, Mary Dean, Louise Parker. Washington State University Cooperative Extension Research Review, Issue 4, Winter 1994. Contents: Why do people join gangs?, Risk Factors for Joining a Gang, Understanding Gangs, Protective Factors, Gang Prevention, and Bibliography. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gang Wars : The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies
The Justice Policy Institute released a new report today critical of the tactics used by several of the nation's large cities to tackle gang problems. The report comes as federal legislation is being introduced to increase funds and programs to boost what the report characterizes as failing tactics. From the press release: " [The report] undertakes an extensive review of the research literature on gangs to clarify persistent misconceptions and examine the effectiveness of common gang control strategies. According to the report, in cities like Los Angeles where gang activity is most prevalent, more police, more prisons and more punitive measures haven’t stopped the cycle of gang violence. Most surprising are conclusions that gangs are responsible for a relatively small share of crime; gang activity has not grown in the U.S.; whites make up a large – if largely invisible – proportion of gang members; most gang-involved youth quit before reaching adulthood; and heavy-handed suppression tactics can increase gang cohesion while failing to reduce violence." The report offers approaches that its research suggests will be more effective in reducing gang violence.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs 2000
A report sponsored by the California Attorney General's Office. Contains sections on Hispanic gangs, African American gangs, Asian gangs, and white gangs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs: A Bibliography
Compiled by Anthony Anderson based on the holdings of the University of Southern California Library holdings. Last updated Dec. 15, 2000.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs: A Growing Problem

Short paper by David T. Hannigan. Includes footnotes and references to sources. Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Armed Young Men Around the World
These pages look at the similarities and differences between armed groups as diverse as child soldiers, gangs, drug cartels, para-militaries, fundamentalist religious militias, and death squads. They are mainly based on research from a ten nation study, neither War nor Peace, and case studies from the Social Science Research Council Working Group on Children in Armed Conflict. John Hagedorn, University of Illinois, Chicago.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Extemist Groups: A Guide for Commanders, Parents, and Teachers
The intent of this handbook is to educate concerned commanders, parents, and school teachers on typical gang characteristics and the warning signs indicating a soldier, family member, or student is drifting into gang-like activity. We hope you, the reader, can apply the information in this handbook to help civilian and military professionals discourage the formation of gangs or gang-like groups and deter gang-related incidents through-out USAREUR. USAREUR Pamphlet 190-100, March 10, 1997.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Guns : A Task Force Report from the National Gang Crime Research Center
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Security Threat Group Awareness
A compilation of gang information by the Florida Department of Corrections. Categories include: gang basics, Chicago-based gangs, L.A.-based gangs, Nations Set, Prison Gangs, Florida Gangs, Supremacy Groups, Community Awareness, and Additional Links.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Terrorism
The linking of former Maniac Latin Disciple gang member, Jose Padilla, to Al Queda had all the markings of the perfect stereotype. After all, haven't gangs been labeled "terrorists"by many in law enforcement, and aren't many laws against gangs called "Anti-terrorism" acts? Attorney General Ashcroft's simplistic pronouncements can be realistically seen as one more sign of repression. Gangs aren't terrorists. But this doesn't end the story.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Victimization at School
U.S. Department of Education (DOE), July 1995. This study found that the prevalence of gangs does not depend on racial characteristics of a school or whether or not it was urban or suburban. The study did find that the presence of gangs predicted the amount of victimization and fear present in a school.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs and Youth Subcultures: International Explorations.
Kayleen Hazlehurst and Cameron Hazlehurst. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998. Main Library Stacks HV6437 .G35 1998
MSU facutly and students have access to an electronic version.
Expert scholars and policy advisors lay the groundwork for an explanation of why gangs continue to grow in strength and influence, and why they have spread to remote locations. Vietnamese youth gangs are included in this comparative book on international experiences with gangs.

Gangs: From Social Groups to Violent Delinquents

(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs, Guerilla Warfare, and social Conflict:
The Potential Terrorism Threat From Gangs in America
Article by George W. Knox, Ph.D. one of the 30+ selections from An Introduction to Gangs (2000).
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in Los Angeles County
Also known as Streetgangs.Com
formerly known as L.A. Gangs
A collection of information and pictures about Los Angeles gangs by Alejandro A. Alonso. Also contains extensive links to other gang sites on the web.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in Middle America: Are They a Threat?
Examines the history of gangs in the Midwest and their threat. The article also covers the topic of gang migration. Article from FBI Law Enforcement, December 2001.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in Rural America, Final Report
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), September 2001. Using the National Youth Gang Surveys (NYGS), this study has two components. First, the NYGS data were merged with other county level data to create a unique data set for considering the relationship between reports of gang presence and county level social, economic, and demographic characteristics. Second, the study used interviews with agencies in rural counties that reported gang presence, the nature of gang problems, and effective responses to rural gangs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in Schools
Gang culture among young people, in itself, is nothing new. Indeed, youth gangs have been a major part of the urban cultural landscape since at least the 1830s, when Charles Dickens described Fagin's pack of young boys roaming the streets of London in Oliver Twist. In the late twentieth century United States, however, gangs have taken on a different character and have moved into areas un-imagined by Dickens. Most significantly, they are spreading from inner cities to smaller communities. Indeed, while gang activity has been stabilizing in urban areas, it has increased significantly elsewhere. At the same time, gangs have become a growing problem in public schools, which historically have been considered "neutral turf." Article by by Gary Burnett, ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, and Garry Walz, ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services.
Also listed under School Violence
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs : In the Spotlight
"Once found principally in large cities, violent street gangs now affect public safety, community image, and quality of life in communities of all sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas. No region of the United States is untouched by gangs. Gangs affect society at all levels, causing heightened fears for safety, violence, and economic costs" (2005 National Gang Threat Assessment, National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations, 2005).
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in the U.S. : Are anti-gang efforts by law enforcement effective?
Violent-crime rates are near historic lows in the United States, but in many urban areas violent crime, particularly homicide, remains pervasive, largely due to street gangs. In some areas police blame 80 percent of all crime on gangs. This summer, during a single weekend in Chicago, 54 people were shot, nearly all because of gang violence. Meanwhile, spillover from Mexico's violent narcotics trade is swamping U.S. law enforcement resources. The federal government estimates the U.S. gang population at 1 million, distributed across some 20,000 gangs. As the gangs grow larger, they merge and grow in strength, often overwhelming local and state police efforts. And a new study calls federal anti-gang efforts uncoordinated and ineffective. Meanwhile, though studies have shown that prevention and counseling programs provide a greater return on public investments than crime-fighting efforts, police anti-gang efforts still get far greater financial support. Source : CQ Researcher, July 16, 2010. Note : access restricted to the MSU community.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs in West Michigan

"There is gang activity going on now in Muskegon, Ottawa, and Kent counties and surrounding areas. It is not limited to the larger cities, nor to low income areas". Article last updated November 3, 1997. Still available courtesy of the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs OR Us
A web page by Robert Walker, a South Carolina law enforcement veteran and consultant and expert on gangs. Be sure to check out the web pages on gangs and gang identifiers.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Gangs Throw Rivals a Cyberpunch
The threat from the District of Columbia area gang Street Thug Criminals was very clear: "We swore we were going to get the (bleep) that did this and we are. RIP Antonio." It was delivered the way almost everything seems to be these days: on a Web page. The Street Thug Criminals have an Internet page, and they used it to warn a rival Langley Park, Md., gang that Antonio's death would be avenged. Police call it "cyberbanging" -- gang members openly bragging about affiliations, skipping school, getting high and battling rival gangs.
Many postings deal with Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a Latino gang that has been spreading quickly across the Washington region in recent years. There is no way to know for certain whether these cyberbangers are gang members, but it's not likely that they are phonies, said Sgt. George Norris, a Prince George's County, Md., police officer who heads a 16-member regional gang task force. "If you portray yourself as being MS-13 and you're not, when they find out about it, they kill you just as if you're a rival gang member," Norris said.
Prince George's police and other investigators use the sites to track the growing gang problem and to catalog members. Most cyberbangers on Web pages examined by The Washington Post are teen-agers and design their pages to flash in-your-face images of gang flags, hand signs, marijuana, women, stacks of cash and "original gangster" scrolls certifying them as legitimate. Some show pictures of themselves with guns and bandannas covering their faces below the eyes, casting menacing glances. The sites use the members' nicknames and rarely refer to legal names. The pages are legal; it is not against the law to be in a gang. Article by Allison Klein, The Washington Post, reprinted in Detroit News, April 15, 2006.
(Last checked 04/17/06)

Globalization, Gangs, and Collaborative Research
John M. Hagedorn, University of Illinois, Chicago. pp.41-58.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

A Guide to Assessing Your Community's Youth Gang Problem
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), June 2002. This guide has been developed to assist policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders in assessing and understanding their youth gang problem and developing an integrated plan to reduce gang crime in their community.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

History of Street Gangs in the United States
Written by James C. Howell, Senior Research Associate, and John P. Moore, Director, National Gang Center, the bulletin reviews the chronology of major events associated with the emergence of street gangs in each of the country’s four major geographic regions.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Homicide in Los Angeles: An Analysis of the Differential Character of Adolescent and Other Homicides
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), March 2002. Describes a research project that placed emphasis on four dimensions of youth violence in the Los Angeles: patterns of gang participation, drug and alcohol involvement, weapons use, and differential patterns among ethnic minorities.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Inmates Are Free to Practice Black Supremacist Religion, Judge Rules
Until two weeks ago, Intelligent Tarref Allah, a 27-year-old Brooklyn native convicted of murder in 1995, was just a gang member in prison asking for special treatment. For years, New York State prison officials would not allow Mr. Allah - who is known to inmates and guards by his new legal first name, Intelligent, or Intel - to openly practice what he describes as his religion, central tenets of which encourage self-analysis, meditation and a black supremacist message. Mr. Allah is a Five Percenter, part of a black militant group that broke from the Nation of Islam in the 1960's. The New York State prison system has long regarded it as a violence-prone gang, much as the system also regards the Latin Kings, Crips or the Aryan Brotherhood. Source: Paul von Zielbauer, New York Times, August 18, 2003.
Also listed under Corrections.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

The International Reach of the Mara Salvatrucha
Article by the National Public Radio about the spread of Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 across nations and legal efforts to curb the gang.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Into The Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs
Also available in print in the MSU Main Library Stacks.
Online book by Mike Carlie, professor, Missouri State University. Includes extensive web links.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Invisible Gang Members: A Report on Female Gang Association in Winnipeg

Melanie Nimmo. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Manitoba. June 2001. 27pp.
Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Journal of Gang Research (Index)
Note: the MSU Libraries subscribes to this journal. Check MAGIC for holdings, locations, and call number.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Latin Kings Speak
Talk by a Latin King Leader March 28, 2002. Courtesy of GangResearch.net.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Latino Gangs in Los Angeles
web link Article by Thomas Watkins, Los Angeles Times, "Some Latino gangs kill on race alone, authorities say; Los Angeles works to reduce violence in its neighborhoods", Detroit Free Press, December 31, 2007.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Mara Salvatrucha (Entry from Wikipedia)
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Methamphematime Use and Sales Among Gang Members: The Cross-Over Effect
Source: Article by Curtis J. Robinson appearing in the Fall 2001 Special Edition of the Journal of Gang Research focusing on Gangs and Terrorism.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Midwest Gang Investigators Association
Includes an extensive collection of resource links.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

MS-13 and 18th Street Gangs : Emerging Transnational Gang Threats?
Two predominantly Latino gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (M-18), have raised concern among policy makers for several reasons: (1) membership in these gangs has spread from the Los Angeles area to other communities across the United States; (2) these gangs are becoming "transnational," primarily because MS-13 and M-18 cliques are being established in Central America and Mexico; (3) evidence suggests that these gangs are engaged in criminal enterprises normally associated with better organized and more sophisticated crime syndicates; and (4) MS-13 and M-18 gang members may be involved in smuggling operations and, by extension, could potentially use their skills and criminal networks to smuggle terrorists into the United States. Congressional Research Service RL34233. January 30, 2008
(Last checked 02/18/13)

The Myth of L.A.'s Race War
Former gang members say the violent Los Angeles jail riots aren't about race; they're about power and pain. Article by Maria Luisa Tucker, AlterNet, February 24, 2006.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Alliance of Gang Investigators Association
Coalition of criminal justice professionals dedicated to the promotion of a comprehensive and fully coordinated anti-gang strategy. Provides links to state and regional assoications with web pages.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Gang Crime Research Center
Formed in 1990, the NGCRC exists today as a non-profit independent agency. We carry out research on gangs and gang members, disseminate information through publications and reports, and provide training and consulting services. Publishes Journal of Gang Research.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Gang Threat Assessment, 2005
Once found principally in large cities, violent street gangs now affect public safety, community image, and quality of life in communities of all sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas. No region of the United States is untouched by gangs. Gangs affect society at all levels, causing heightened fears for safety, violence, and economic costs. This publication by the National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations (NAGIA) includes chapter/sections on gangs and drugs, asian organized crime, russian organized crime, gangs and terrorist organizations, prison gangs, hispanic gangs, female gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, gangs in Indian country, and community response to gangs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Gang Threat Assessment, 2009
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Gang Threat Assessment, 2011
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Youth Gang Center
The proliferation of gang problems in large and small cities, suburbs, and even rural areas over the last two decades led to the development of a comprehensive, coordinated response to America’s gang problem by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The OJJDP response involves five major components, one of which is the implementation and operation of the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC). The first web site describes the mission of the NYGC; the second provides links to full text documents.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Youth Gang Center
News From Around the Country
(Last checked 02/18/13)

National Youth Gang Center
Gang Related News
This page provides a list of articles pertaining to gangs and gang-related activities from various news sources. A link to the source of each article is provided. The list of articles can be refined by date and limited to a specific state.
(Last checked 09/15/05)

Nazi Low Riders
Article by Camille Jackson, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Summer 2004.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

North American Transnational Youth Gangs: Breaking the Chain of Violence
Youth gangs are nothing new. They appeared in New York City and Philadelphia at the end of the American Revolution. Their numbers and violence correspond to peak levels of immigration and population shifts that occurred in the early 1800s, 1920s, 1960s, and late 1990s. Entrenched in American culture, gangs are romanticized in movies while rap artists copy their dress and jargon. However, because of their growing membership and globalization, gangs have become a public security threat that must be addressed. Stephen Johnson and David B. Muhlhausen. Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #1834.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Police Response to Gangs
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), April 2004. Prepared by Arizona State University West, this research report describes the assumptions, issues, problems, and events that have been characterizing, shaping, and defining police response to local gang problems in the United States, centering on Albuquerque, New Mexico; Inglewood, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Preventing Gang- and Drug-Related Witness Intimidation
Report describes how several jurisdictions have carried out victim/witness security strategies and offers a blueprint for combining the approaches into a comprehensive, structured program to protect witnesses and help ensure their cooperation with the justice system. Peter Finn and Kerry Murphy Healey. National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Nov. 1996. 155pp.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Preventing Youth Violence in Urban Schools: An Essay Collection

Compiled by Wendy Schwartz. Includes
(1) Preventing Violence in Schools
(2) Gang Activity at Schools: Prevention Strategies
(3) School Violence and the Legal Rights of Students: Selected Issues
Still available thanks to the Internet Archive.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Prison Gangs: Gang and Security Threat Group Awareness
In 1992, the Florida Department of Corrections began its efforts to identify the levels of gang activity within its inmate/offender population. Although we had not realized a significant number of disruptive incidents attributed to gang activity, national trends and an increase in the intake of younger inmates prompted the Security Threat Group (STG) management initiative. The result is the comprehensive intelligence gathering program that has literally given us a "blueprint" of gang activity in Florida. The Security Threat Intelligence Unit (STIU) is now recognized as a national leader in STG identification, assessment and management. Although our primary focus is on inmates and offenders, we are committed to sharing what we learn with criminal justice agencies and the public. Includes sections on:
(1) Gang Basics - Basic questions and research materials.
(2) F.A.Q. - What is a criminal gang? Who is a criminal gang member?
(3) Chicago Based - These gangs emerged in the early 1960's and have two primary alliances: People Nation and Folk Nation.
(4) Nation Sets - The People Nation and Folk Nation are not gangs - they are alliances under which gangs are aligned.
(5) L.A. Based - Bloods and Crips are probably the most widely recognized gangs.
(6) Prison Gangs - There are six major prison gangs that are recognized nationally for their participation in organized crime and violence.
(7) Florida Gangs - List of gangs/security threat groups encountered.
(8) Supremacy Groups - Information on racial supremacy and neo-Nazi groups.
(9) Awareness Strategies - Does your community have gangs? Why do youths join gangs?
(10) Links - Additional resources on the internet
Also listed under Corrections.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Prosecuting Gang Cases: What Local Prosecutors Need to Know
Trying a gang case is one of the most difficult undertakings a prosecutor can face. Reluctant witnesses, perjurious testimony, and hostile and intimidating courtroom crowds are but a few of the myriad problems a gang prosecutor can expect in trial. This monograph seeks to address various pre-trial and trial issues in the context of gang evidence. Alan Jackson. American Prosecutors Research Institute. April 2004.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Riot Grrrl and Raisin Girl: Feminity Within the Female Gang, the Power of the Popular

Paper on female gang culture. Using published sources from both sides of the Atlantic, together with interviews with police officers in London, Debbie Archer builds up a picture of female gang identity, and of the centrality of 'appearance' and 'attitude'. Identity within the female gang, she argues, 'is a way of obtaining respect, marking out territory, and of challenging and fighting other female gangs if necessary'. We are back in the world of oppositional sub-cultures here, and a history that can be traced from punk straight through to hip hop. As the Au Pairs put it in 1981, this is 'playing with a different sex'. Debbie Archer, PhD Candidate, Cambridge University, 1998. Source: The British Criminology Conferences: Selected Proceedings, Vol. 1
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Shattered Dreams: A History of the 1960s Conservative Vice Lords in Pictures and Text
See for yourself the incredible story of the 1960s Conservative Vice Lords who transformed themselves into an organization dedicated to saving the youth in their community... and what stopped them.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Skinhead Street Gangs

Learn about skinheads' philosophy, clothing, tattoos, music, houses, weapons, and hate targets. How are skinheads associated with the KKK, militia, religious extremists, and Aryan Nations? Learn how they want to take over part of the United States. Should we be concerned about anti-racist skinheads? What can communities do? How can the police prepare for a skinhead march or rally? A web advertisement for a book available in the MSU Library Main Stacks. Check MAGIC for location and call number.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Social Programs to Combat Gangs Seen as More Effective Than Police
Area Officials Advocate Mix of Prevention and Enforcement
In a report being issued today, "Gang Wars," the Washington-based institute says it found overwhelming evidence that cities such as New York and suburbs and rural areas that use extensive social resources -- job training, mentoring, after-school activities, recreational programs -- make significant dents in gang violence. Areas that rely heavily on police enforcement, such as Los Angeles, have far less impact. Article by Tom Jackman, Washington Post, July 18, 2007; Page B03
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Specialized Gang Units: Form and Function in Community Policing
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), October 2004. This research examined whether community policing and specialized gang units are complementary or conflicting approaches. The research approach consisted of qualitative examination of police department procedures and practices, and extensive field observation of gang personnel.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Street Gang Awareness: A Resource Guide for Parents and Professionals.
A book by Steven Sacks available in the MSU Main Library Stacks. Includes frequently asked questions about street gangs.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Street Gang Dynamics
A web page by Steve Nawojczyk, Pulaski County Coroner stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas. Includes An Overview of Gangs and Graffiti Interpretation.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Street Gang Migration: How Big a Threat?
Online article by Cheryl L. Maxson, Kristi J. Woods, and Malcolm W. Klein, from National Institute of Justice Journal, February 1996.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Street Gangs and Interventions: Innovative Problem Solving with Network Analysis
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), November 2005. This COPS Innovations piece reviews prevention, intervention, suppression, and comprehensive strategies to address this issue of gangs and provides examples of each. It also offers a case study of problem analysis in Newark, New Jersey through the Greater Newark Safer Cities Initiative. This paper discusses the unique utility of network analysis in the resultant problem analysis and emphasizes the important role of an academic research partner. Finally, the piece considers the importance of sustainability with regard to problem analysis.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Also known as Gangs in Los Angeles County
formerly known as L.A. Gangs
A collection of information and pictures about Los Angeles gangs from Alejandro A Alonso, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Southern California; telephone: (310) 287-8303; Email: aalonso@usc.edu; www.soyboricua.com. Also contains extensive links to other gang sites on the web.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Teens in Gangs
Keeping kids straight is the job of individuals, families, communities. Article by Carl S. Taylor, Michigan State University.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Texas Gang Investigators Association
The Texas Gang Investigators Association was founded in 1991 by a small group of officers charged with the investigation of street gangs and their criminal activities. Today, membership in the TGIA numbers over 1,900 members from all across the state. The TGIA strives to provide training opportunities for its members through regional meetings, quarterly newsletters and its annual training conference. Web site also provides resource links.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

They Call Themselves Five Percenters; The Department of Corrections Calls Them Trouble
Five Percent Nation is a loose-knit religious organization that split from the Nation of Islam in 1964. The group's lack of structure and young members have prompted the South Carolina Department of Corrections to label the group a "security threat," and treat it as a "gang." Briefing by Alex Todorovic, POINT - South Carolina's Independent Newsmonthly, April 1996 .
For more information see Inmates Are Free to Practice Black Supremacist Religion, Judge Rules; Nation of Gods and Earths/Five Percent FAQ (frequently asked questions).
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Transnational Gangs: The Impact of Third Generation Gangs in Central America
Transnational gangs are a concern throughout the Western Hemisphere. Criminal street gangs have evolved to pose significant security and public safety threats in individual neighborhoods, metropolitan areas, nations, and across borders. Such gangs—widely known as maras—are no longer just street gangs. They have morphed across three generations through interactions with other gangs and transnational organized crime organizations (e.g., narcotics cartels) into complex networked threats. By John P. Sullivan. Air & Space Power Journal, July 1, 2008.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Understanding Life in an East Los Angeles Public Housing Project: A Focus on Gang and Non-Gang Families
This is a comparative study of non-gang and gang families in an East LA neighborhood. Differentiating features of both types of families are identified. James Diego Vigil. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), July 1996. 30pp.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

United States Attorneys’ Bulletin on Gangs
Bulletin topics include prevention, investigation, and prosecution of gang crime. Vol. 54, no. 3, May 2006 issue.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Urban Ethnography of Latino Street:
Gangs in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties
Dr. Francine Garcia-Hallcom. This is an on-going urban ethnography which began as part of a sabbatical leave from California State University Northridge in June of 1996, focusing on Latino street gangs in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The purpose is to find solutions, to share an ever expanding body of data and literature on Latino street gangs, and to locate successful strategies for prevention and intervention with at-risk youths.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Vampires, Dragons, and Egyptian Kings: Youth Gangs in Postwar New York.
Eric C. Schnieder. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999. Main Library Stacks HV6439.U7 N467 1999
Abstract: A rich and detailed portrait of everyday life in gangs in Postwar New York. Written from a wide array of sources, including interviews with former gang members, Schneider focuses on the years from 1940 to 1975, but takes us up to the present in his conclusion, showing how youth gangs are no longer social organizations but economic units tied to the underground economy. Schneider describes how postwar urban renewal, slum clearances, and ethnic migration pitted African-American, Puerto Rican, and Euro-American youths against each other in battles to dominate changing neighborhoods, and the conditions in which gangs appeared in New York's Chinatown in the mid-1960's.

Victim and Witness Intimidation: New Developments and Emerging Responses
National Institute of Justice (NIJ), October 1995. This 16-page report summarizes developments in gang- and drug-related intimidation of victims and witnesses, responses by police and prosecutors to the problem, and models and strategies for its prevention and suppression.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context
OJJDP convened the Girls Study Group to guide the development, testing, and dissemination of strategies to reduce or prevent girls’ involvement in delinquency and violence. One of a series of bulletins detailing the findings of the Girls Study Group, Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context, examines the involvement of girls in violent activity (including whether such activity has increased relative to the increase for boys) and the contexts in which girls engage in violent behavior. 24 pages.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Why We Watch for Gangs and Graffiti
An article by Roger Pariseau. Sponsored by the Fremont North Neighborhood Council.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

The Young Lords and Early Chicago Puerto Rican Gangs
An interview with historian Mervin Mendez, exploring "the context for the development of Puerto Rican gangs in Chicago." From the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, a part of Gang research.net.
(Last checked 02/18/13)

Youth Gangs : Worsening Violence Prompts Crackdowns and Community Mobilization
Campus access
Off-Campus Access for MSU Students : Type in title in quick search box.
Drive-by shootings and assaults by gangs now routinely make headlines in dozens of American cities. But today's gangs differ from the classic switchblade-toting packs of the 1950s. Many are tightly organized, mobile criminal units that carry semiautomatic weapons and run sophisticated drug-trafficking operations. Police, government officials, community leaders and academics can't agree on a solution to the gang problem. Does it lie in tougher police tactics, more effective social work or a combined approach that involves the whole community? As drug arrests and murders by teenagers continue to mount, some police officials refuse to acknowledge the existence of gangs while others call for a coordinated national effort to combat them. Charles S. Clark, CQ Researcher, September 11, 1991.
(Last checked 02/18/13)


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