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Highlights of the 1997 National Youth Gang Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1999
2 pages
Publication Series
This summary of findings from the 1997 National Youth Gang Survey conducted by the National Youth Gang Center reports that gang activity continued to affect a large number of cities and counties in 1997, but the number of jurisdictions reporting active youth gangs declined slightly from 1996 to 1997.
The 1996 and 1997 samples each consisted of 3,018 local law enforcement agencies. The survey had a 92-percent response rate. Fifty-three percent of the agencies reported youth gang activity in 1996; 51 percent reported youth gang activity in 1997. Gang activity continued to be most prevalent in the west. Forty-five percent of the participants felt that the gang problem in their jurisdictions in 1997 was staying about the same, 35 percent indicated that it was becoming worse, and 20 percent felt that it was becoming better. Participants estimated that 42 percent of their youth gangs were involved in the street sale of drugs and that 33 percent were involved in drug distribution to generate profits for the gang. Participants also reported considerable involvement of gang members in aggravated assault, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and burglary. Eighty-nine percent of the participants indicated that some gang members had migrated to their jurisdictions. Sixty-six percent indicated that their agencies had some type of specialized unit to address gang problems. Description of source of further information

Date Published: March 1, 1999