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11 Facts About Gangs
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  1. A gang is a group of people who claim a territory and use it to make money through illegal activities (i.e., drug trafficking). Community organizations can reduce gang activity, so host a basketball tournament at your local Boys & Girls Club. Sign up for Off-the-Street Ball.^[USA.gov. "What Is a Gang? Definitions." National Institute of Justice. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  2. Gangs can be organized based upon race, ethnicity, territory, or money-making activities, and are generally made up of members ages 8 to 22.^[USA.gov. "What Is a Gang? Definitions." National Institute of Justice. Accessed April, 7, 2014. .]
  3. Members of gangs wear specific articles of clothing to be recognized as part of the group such as bandanas, hats, scarves of certain colors, or gang-related tattoos or symbols.^[Howell, Ph.D., James C., Arlen Egley, Jr., Ph.D, and Christina O’Donnell. "Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs." National Gang Center. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  4. Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes both on and off school property.^[Grabianowski, Ed. "How Street Gangs Work." HowStuffWorks. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  5. When joining a gang, often times there is an initiation that needs to be passed. This initiation is usually a violent crime that could include theft, murder, gang-rape, or drive-by shootings.^[Carlie PhD, Michael K.. "The Gang Culture." Into The Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  6. Gang members are more likely to be arrested or involved with drugs and alcohol than non-gang members.^[Lebrun, Marcel. "Chapter Seven: Violence and Weapons." In Children in crisis: violence, victims, and victories. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2011. 79-94.]
  7. 86% of US cities with a population of 100,000 or more report gang activity.^[Carlie PhD, Michael K.. "How to Join a Gang." Into The Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  8. According to the FBI in 2011, there were 33,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs active in the U.S., with more than 1.4 million members (a 40% increase from 2009).^[U.S. Department of Justice. "Early Precursors of Gang Membership: A Study of Seattle Youth." National Criminal Justice Reference Center. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  9. In recent years, gangs are participating in more non-traditional crimes such as prostitution, alien smuggling, and human trafficking, identity theft, and mortgage fraud. These new, non-traditional crimes create higher profitability and lower visibility.^[Egley, Jr., Arlen. "National Youth Gang Survey Trends From 1996 to 2000." National Criminal Justice Reference Center. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  10. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland and Oklahoma City – are the U.S. capitals of gang homicide.^[U.S. Department of Justice. "2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends." FBI. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
  11. Neighborhood-based gangs pose the highest rate of significant threat for violent crimes in the U.S, versus national-level street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.^[U.S. Department of Justice. "2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends." FBI. Accessed April 7, 2014. .]
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