U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dangerous Places: Gang Members and Neighborhood Levels of Gun Assault

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 33 Issue: 5 Dated: August 2016 Pages: 836-862
Date Published
August 2016
27 pages
This study used data from St. Louis to examine the effects of resident gang membership on rates of gun assault and also considered whether gun violence is conditioned by the level of gang membership in surrounding communities.
Despite attention to the role of gangs in urban gun violence, much remains to be learned about the spatial distribution and consequences of residential gang membership. As anticipated in the current study, communities with the highest number of gang members also had the highest rates of gun assault; however, much of the impact of gang membership on gun assaults extended outside of the boundaries of gang neighborhoods, especially those neighborhoods with few or no gang members. The number of gang members in surrounding neighborhoods had no discernible effect on gun assaults in communities with higher rates of gang membership. Controlling for the spatial proximity of residential gang membership was found to help account for some of the association between neighborhood disadvantage and gun assaults. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2016