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Drug Activity and Firearms Possession and Use by Juveniles

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 24 Issue: 3 Dated: (1994) Pages: 363-382
Date Published
20 pages
Survey data from juveniles incarcerated in maximum security reformatories were used to analyze the gun-use and gun-possession profiles of juveniles involved in the use and distribution of drugs.
The information came from self-administered questionnaires completed by 835 male inmates incarcerated in correctional facilities in California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Louisiana in the spring of 1991. The data focused on firearms possession, carrying, and use; the use of heroin, cocaine, and crack; drug sales; and involvement in armed robbery. Findings provide no indication of a progressive, linear relationship between the level of drug use and gun possession, including the number of guns owned and the routine carrying of guns, and gun use. However, disregarding the level of drug use, significant differences were found between nonusers of drugs and users who did not sell drugs in involvement in gun possession and use. In addition, when users who did not sell drugs were separated from users who did, the latter generally displayed higher involvement in gun possession and use. Thus, drug selling clearly increased gun-related behavior. Finally, drug users who also committed robberies had greater involvement in gun possession and use than did drug users who did not commit robberies; drug sellers who robbed were also more involved in the same activities than sellers who did not. Tables and 55 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994