The proliferation of gangs and gang violence in the United States has led to increased concerns from educators, law enforcement officials, and citizens. The magnitude of this problem has fueled the public's fear and, consequently, has led to an explosion of research conducted in this area. The 2000 National Gang Youth Survey indicated that there are more than 750,000 gang members in more than 24,000 gangs. Gang membership shows no boundaries. It encompasses people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender, and geographic areas. Therefore, examining defining elements of a gang, typical profile characteristics of members, and the risk factors associated with gang membership provide insight into the true nature of gangs.

Definition of Gangs

There is no consensus about what comprises a gang or being a gang ...

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