Gangs and Prevention
Paul, Lauren, Chris,
Kristy, and Tim
What is a Gang?
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A "criminal street gang" means any
ongoing organization, association, or
group of three or more persons, whether
formal or informal, having as one of its
primary activities the commission of felony
or violent misdemeanor offenses, or
delinquent acts that would be felonies or
violent misdemeanors if committed by an
adult, and having a common name or
common identifying sign, colors, or
symbols.
N.C.G.S.15A-1340.16 (2a)
Top Gangs In North Carolina
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18th Street
Crips
Bloods
Latin Kings
MS 13
SUR 13
United Blood Nation
Vice Lords
Gang Distribution in North
Carolina
Quick Stats
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Average age is 17 – 18 years old.
Males teens are more likely to join
gangs than females.
However, 78% of females have
reported being in gang fights.
65% of females reported carrying a
weapon for protection.
39% of females reported attacking
someone with a weapon.
Why Do Young People Join
Gangs?
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A gang often meets needs that go unfulfilled in other areas of a
young person's life. The gang may provide a sense of security,
loyalty, structure and DISCIPLINE that may be missing at home.
Lack of positive influence by/interaction with parents
Self-respect/identity
Replacement or substitute family
Lack of economic opportunity
Desire for excitement
Lack of alternatives in/out of school
Power
Friendship/brotherhood
Protection/security from gang violence
Feeling of belonging/being cared for
Media glorification of gang lifestyle
Signs of Possible Gang
Involvement
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Large amount of unsupervised time.
Poor academic progress at school or skipping
school
Increased conflict at home.
Frequent disciplinary problems at home/school.
Frequent contact with police.
Drawing graffiti.
Drawings/homework with the letters "B" or "C"
crossed-out, inverted or used improperly.
Using gang hand signs.
More…
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Not associating with long time friends/secretive about new
friends/activities.
Changing hair or dress styles/having a group of friends with
the same styles.
Changing normal routines/not coming home after
school/staying out late at night.
Photographs with others displaying gang signs, weapons or
gang-type clothing.
Physical signs of being involved in fights/secrecy as to how
injuries are received.
New-found sense of bravery/bragging that they are too
tough to be "messed" with.
Using a new nickname.
Continued…
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Demanding privacy.
Drinking alcohol/using drugs.
Unusual mood swings or patterns of behavior.
Sudden, unexplained increase in material
possessions.
Obsession with a particular color of clothing or
desire for a particular logo.
Wearing baggy pants and shirts.
Numbers, symbols and writing on jeans.
Wearing pants with pockets that show gang
colors when turned inside-out.
Using different-colored shoelaces.
Finally….
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Wearing clothing with portions of logos coloredover to make them similar to gang logos.
Wearing clothing of sports teams that use similar
colors or logos of the gang.
Wearing colored-bandanas on their head or
partially exposed in a pocket
Wearing belts with writing/numbers on the portion
of the belt that hangs down.
Common tattoos: three dots "Mi Vida Loca," tear
drops, pachuco cross, words with the #13 or #14
in them, pitch forks, crosses, 5- or 6-point stars,
and 5- or 6-point crowns, two masks – one
happy/one sad.
Examples….
Student Desk
Tattoo
Tagging Street Signs
Images of Gangs
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Video Games
Movies
– Dangerous Minds
– South Central
– Menace To Society
– Gridiron Gang
– Gangs of York
– Green Street Hooligans
– The Outsiders
Music
– Dr. Dre
– 50 cent (Blood)
– Snoop Dog (Crips)
– Biggie
– Tupac
Television
Levels of Gang Involvement
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Level I – Fantasy
– Knows about gangs primarily from
newspapers, newscasts, and movies.
– May or may not know about “real” gangs.
– May or may not know one or more gang
members, but does not associate with them.
– May or may not like, respect or admire a gang,
gang member or the gang lifestyle.
– See gang members as “living out a fantasy”.
Level II – At-Risk
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Knows about gangs and gang
members first-hand.
Occasionally casually associates
with gang members.
Lives in or near gang areas.
May like or admire gangs or gang
members as individuals.
May like or admire the gang lifestyle,
but not participate fully.
Level III – Associate
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Knows and likes gang members firsthand.
Regularly associates with gang members.
Considers gangs and related activity as
normal, acceptable, and admirable.
Finds many things in common with gang
members.
Is thinking seriously about joining a gang.
Level IV – Gang Member
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Is officially a gang member.
Associates almost exclusively with gang
members to the exclusion of family and
former friends.
Participates in gang crimes and most
other related activities.
Is not considered hard-core by fellow
gang members or others.
Had substantially rejected the authority or
value system of family and society.
Level V – Hard-Core Gang
Member
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Totally committed to the gang and gang
lifestyle.
Totally rejects anyone or any value system
other than the gang.
Is considered hard-core by self, other
gang-members and authorities.
Will commit any act with the approval of or
a demand from the gang.
Does not accept any authority other than
the gang.
Gang Initiation
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Jump/Beat In
Sexed In
Blessed In
Criminal Acts
Tips for Parents
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Discuss Good Groups vs. Bad Groups
Help your child develop positive selfesteem
– Support your child’s goals and ideas
– Express your feelings and encourage your
child to do the same. Try not to judge or
criticize your child’s feelings.
– Praise your child’s efforts as well as
achievements.
– Make your child feel like he or she is a part of
the family.
– Ask for your child’s opinion.
Tips for Parents
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Be a good role model
– Don’t abuse alcohol or other drugs.
– Honor your word and expect your child
to do the same.
Tips for Parents
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Be Involved in your child’s life
– Work to build open and on-going
communication with your child.
– Set aside time for positive family activities.
– Encourage your child to spend time studying,
working, or participating in sports, hobbies, art,
and volunteer groups.
– Monitor what your child watches and listens to
especially television shows, music, movies,
and video games that promote violence.
Tips for Parents
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Teach Good Values and Responsibility
– Emphasize strong values including respect for
yourself and others and tolerance for
differences, and responsibility.
– Be consistent about discipline.
– Hold your child accountable for his or her
behavior.
– Teach your child respect for authority.
Final Tip for Parents
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The Three W’s:
– Where
– What
– Who
What Schools Can Do
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Listen to what students have to say about gangs
in their area.
Establish links with parents, community
resources, and police agencies.
Could establish a dress code that supports
school spirit.
Train teachers and staff to recognize gangs and
how to properly deal with gang issues.
Use PTA to educate.
Use art music and drama activities to promote
alternatives to gang involvement.
Provide an open environment for students’
concerns.
Gang Awareness in the
Classroom
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Eliminate your own biases about gangs and
educate yourself.
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Make your class a comfort zone for everyone.
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Understand the most complex and numerous
reasons students join gangs. Most are trying to
satisfy a basic need to belong to a group and to
“fit in”.
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Be aware of gang writings, attire, and language in
your classroom.
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Consult with student resource officers,
counselors, and principals if you need
assistance.
Informative Video
Resources and References
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www.ncgangcops.org
www.gangsandkids.com
www.fairfaxcounty.gov
www.ssw.unc.edu
www.knowgangs.com
www.schoolsecurity.org
www.ncjrs.gov
Struyk, R. (2006). Gangs in our schools: Identifying gang
indicators in our school population. The Clearing House,
80(1), 11-13.
National Consortium on Alternatives for Youth at Risk, Inc.,
Sarasota, Fl. Working together to erase gangs in our
schools.
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