Adolescence & Gangs

Yo Gonna Get Tapped G-Dog!
Gang Violence in the Adolescent
• National Alliance of Gang Investigators in 2000
recommended that all state and federal bodies
define a gang as:
– A group of three or more persons who have a common
identifying sign, symbol or name who individually or
collectively engage in criminal activity which creates
an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. This includes
juvenile acts that, if committed by an adult, would be
considered a crime.
• US Department of Justice for 1999
– More than 26,000 gangs active in the US. Down 9%
from 1998
Number of gangs in Rural areas decreased 23%
Number of gangs in Suburban decreased 11%
Number of gangs in Small Cities decreased 19%
Number of gangs in Large Cities increased 1%
Epidemiology cont
• US Department of Justice for 1999
– More than 840,500 active gang members in US.
Increase 8% from 1998.
Gang members in Rural areas decreased 29%
Gang members in Suburbia increased 27%
Gang members in Small Cities increased 2%
Gang members in Large Cities increased 4%
Who Are They?
• Ages
– 15-17 comprise 26%
– 18-24 comprise 50%
• Ethnicity
47% Hispanic
31% African-American
13% Caucasian
7% Asian
2% Other ( ie Nerds, Hottentots, Canadians)
Which Side of The Tracks?
• Social Class
50% Underclass
35% Working Class
12% Middle Class
3% Upper Crust
What Do They Do?
• Hold Bake Sales???
• Violent Offenses most prevalent include:
Aggravated Assault
Burglary/Breaking and Entering
• 46% of gang members are involved in drug
• 40% of all gangs were organized solely for the
purpose of distributing drugs
Why Ya Blowin Smack my way
• Military has seen rise in gang related activity
– Ft Bragg, 2002, Gang related killings over drug trade
– Ft Bragg, December 1996 Racially motivated Double homicide of
black couple by 3 White Supremacists
– Ft Bragg, Summer 1997, 10 Black soldiers beat white soldier into a
– Ft Riley, 1996, Two double homicides in less than 1 year, gang
– Ft Hood, 1997, Female specialist convicted of intimidation of
superiors with death threats, two counts of assault and one count of
conspiracy in running gang cell and issuing contracts for double
– Ft Meade, 2000, Latin Kings members found recruiting on post
– Ft Carson, Ft Lewis gang related drug rings exposed
DoD Policy on Gang
• Currently, none of the services have
regulations governing whether service
members can be gang members.
• The Closest Regulation of any Branch is
Army Reg 600-20 paragraph 4-12,A:
– Military personnel must reject participation in
extremist organizations and activities…
– Technically a soldier can be an open member of
a gang.
What Do We Do?!
• Stop, Drop and Roll??
• Recognize the Risk Factors for Gang
• Identify signs of Gang Activity
Risk Factors for Involvement in
• Adolescents ( virtually the entire junior enlisted
• Drugs
• Alcohol
• Lack of Family Support
• Lower Socio-economic status
• Access to Firearms
• Poor School Performance
• Tattoos
• Body Piercings
Signs of Gang Activity
• Aside from the occasional stacatto of
automatic weapons fire in your
neighborhood, what should you be looking
– Graffitti: Experts agree that once “tagging” is visible,
gang activity has been present for at least 6 months
– Recurring color patterns in clothing styles… not to
include pink
– Individuals wearing more gold than can be traded
legally on the stock market
Signs cont
– Individuals who “hand
flash” or “sign”. Not to be
confused with sign
– Individuals who drive
expensive cars, wear name
brand clothing, always have
cash on hand, but you know
they do not have a job
– Tattoos: Each tat has a
America’s Most Wanted
• Maryland
– Crips, Skinheads, Latin Kings, Gangster
Disciples, Vice Lords, Asian Boyz, Aryan
Brotherhood, Black Guerilla Family
• Virginia
– Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples,
Vice Lords, Five Percenters, 18th Street Gang
Latin Kings
Latin Kings
Gangster Disciples
Splinter Group from Bloods
G-Dogs cont
Vice Lords
Splinter Group from Crips
Lords cont
Knowing Is Half The Battle
Unfortunately gang members are not always
visible. And gang activity is not always glaringly
obvious….so what do you do?
A. Separate waiting room into gang and non-gang
member areas.
B. Go undercover yourself to find out the scoop.
C. Smoke a bong, eat a twinkie and think real deep man.
D. Watch X-Files because the truth is out there.
E. Screen you patient population.
• Fights
– How many fights in past year
• Injuries
– Have you been injured in a fight or injured someone else
• Sexual Violence
– Have you ever been forced to have sex against your will
• Threats
– Have you ever been threatened
• Self-Defense
– Have you ever carried a weapon to protect yourself
• Gangs
– Are you or do you know anyone who is a gang member
• Local Law Enforcement
• Military Family Resource Center
– (703) 696-9053
• DoD Office of Family Policy
– Strategic Youth Action Plan
– Military Teens on the Move,
The Homies Would Like To
• Dr. Anisha Abraham for resources galore
• My wife, Nathalie Coleman for maintaining
the “hoodlums” in my absence
• And to G-Money who gave me some insight
years ago into the gang culture