FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† OJJDP

DATE: Tuesday, May 29, 2001††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 202/307-0703








WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Growth of Youth Gang Problems in the United States:††† 1970-98 is now available from the Justice Departmentís Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).The report presents national findings on youth gang problems by youth gang localities for the 25-year period between 1970 and 1995 and summarizes new findings on youth gangs up to mid-1998.


By the late 1990s, 3,700 localities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported gang problems, a nine-fold increase in the number of cities and an eleven-fold increase in the number of counties.


†††††††††† The states with the largest number of gang-problem cities in 1998 were California (363), Illinois (261), Texas (156) and Ohio (86).In the 1970s, only California and Illinois had reported large number of cities with gang problems.In 1998, the states with the largest number of gang-problem counties were Texas (82), Georgia (61), California (50), Illinois (42) and Florida (40).The South replaced the Northeast as the region with the most top-ranking states with gang problems.††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


Tables and figures depict in-depth findings on gang localities by their populations and regional locations.Also included are prevalence trends over a three-decade period, rankings by state, concentration in counties and growth prospects. The historical perspective used in this study indicates that the current unprecedented rise in the level of gang activity throughout localities will be followed by a decrease.This long-term information on gang locality numbers and trends will enable researchers to more precisely determine the future character and magnitude of the problem.


The report was developed in conjunction with the National Youth Gang Centerís Institute for Intergovernmental Research, the Regional Information Sharing Systems Intelligence Centers, the Regional Organized Crime Information Center, the New England State Police Information Network and the Gang Resistance Education and Training Branch of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.


The Growth of Youth Gang Problems in the United States:1970-98 is available through the OJJDP Web site at from OJJDPís Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20857.The toll-free number is 1-800/638-8736.


Information about other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) bureaus and program offices is available at should contact OJPís Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.


# # #




OJJDP 01104†††††††††††††

After hours, contact: Mary Louise Embrey, 888/763-8943 (beeper)