Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Frances P. Bernat
The number of gangs and gang members in the United States varies from year to year. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, all large cities of over 250,000 people reported gang activity, with 91 percent indicating that at least one criminal homicide was gang related. Among gang researchers and antigang units studying this sociolegal problem, a generalized count indicates that gangs are most prevalent in large and midsized cities while the least amount of reported gang activity occurs in rural counties in the United States The most common gang type is a street or juvenile gang. Although officials estimate that gang membership and activity dropped in 2001 from the 1990s, currently estimates are that more than 25,000 gangs with about 800,000 gang members are active. In general, the larger the populated area, the larger the percentage of reported gang activity; this activity is closely aligned with the poor inner ...