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Criminal Behavior of Gang Members and At-Risk Youths

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
4 pages
Publication Series
The problem of gang-related crime is discussed in this research preview from the National Institute of Justice.
Recent estimates predict that there are currently more than 16,000 active gangs in the United States, and gang members number close to 1 million individuals and are responsible for over 600,000 crimes per year. Discussing research on gangs and gang-related criminal behaviors, the author details both a Colorado-Florida and a Cleveland research study focused on self-reported data concerning gang-related criminal activities. The data generated by these research studies indicate significant differences between the behavior of gang members and at-risk youths, although both groups indicated involvement with guns and gang members. Gang members are often more involved in selling drugs than are at-risk youths, and gang leaders typically engage in the more serious forms of criminal behavior such as the drug trade. This research preview suggests that earlier studies have identified a close relationship between gang membership and various forms of criminal behavior.

Date Published: January 1, 1998