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Ekstrom Library

Government Resources: Public Safety: Gangs

National Gang Center

National Gang Center

The National Gang Center Web site features the latest research about gangs; descriptions of evidence-based, anti-gang programs; and links to tools, databases, and other resources to assist in developing and implementing effective community-based gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies. Here you will find an analysis of the findings from nearly 15 years of data collected by the annual National Youth Gang Survey of 2,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies. Visitors can read and download publications related to street gangs. An online form allows communities to request training and technical assistance as they plan and implement anti-gang strategies. Users can register for a variety of anti-gang training courses. The Web site also hosts a database of gang-related state legislation and municipal codes; a list of newspaper articles on nationwide gang activity, updated daily; and GANGINFO, an electronic mailing list for professionals working with gangs.


History of Youth Gangs

Gang graffiti

Youth gangs may have first appeared in Europe (Klein, 1996) or Mexico (Redfield, 1941; Rubel, 1965). No one is sure when or why they emerged in the United States. The earliest record of their appearance in the United States may have been as early as 1783, as the American Revolution ended (Sante, 1991; Sheldon, 1898). They may have emerged spontaneously from adolescent play groups or as a collective response to urban conditions in this country (Thrasher, 1927).

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