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Criminal Street Gangs

Over the past few years law enforcement personnel and school officials from numerous counties in our commonwealth have reported the appearance and/or increase in the number of young people identifying themselves as a member of a Criminal Street Gang. This trend is occurring nationwide and is affecting not only large metropolitan areas, but smaller communities as well. While a majority of the contacts law environment personnel have with these subjects are occurring away from normal school activities it is clear that the number of criminal street gang members at the school age level is on the rise.

Information also indicates that children as young as nine years of age are engaging in illegal activities linked to these groups on school grounds and active recruitment of these children is occurring. The presence of these gangs in our school districts presents a special concern for those charged with the safety of students.


Lt. Ken Armstrong and Officer Todd Phillips, Lexington Police Department, prepared information for both schools and communities on criminal street gangs in our schools, "What to Look For and What You Can Do to Address Them".

Gang Resources

Street Gangs in Our Schools:  What to Look For and What You Can Do to Address Them. (PowerPoint presentation)
The general purpose of this presentation is to provide our readers/viewers (educators, schools, community members) with basic information related to the identification of activities associated with criminal street gangs and its members. Prepared by Lt. Ken Armstrong and Officer Todd Phillips, Lexington Police Department, June 2008© Hinting, writing, or talking about suicide is a call for help and must be taken seriously. When confronted with a situation in which life-threatening behavior is present, immediate mobilization of all appropriate resources is paramount. Under such conditions, commitment to student confidentiality is superseded by the need to initiate life saving interventions.

Straight Talk About Youth Gangs - National Crime Prevention Council - A gang is a group of people who share a common purpose; engage in criminal ... police department's gang unit. ... These seven strategies integrate gang prevention education and the creation of ... This kit includes 20 reproducible brochures ...

CrimeSolutions.gov: Gangs - The Gangs section of OJP's CrimeSolutions.gov site provides information about and evaluations of programs related to gang reduction activities.

Best Practices to Address Community Gang Problems: OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
School Guide to Preventing Gang Involvement
Parent Guide to Preventing Gang Involvement
Parents' Guide to Gangs -  (OJJDP)
A Parent's Quick Reference Card: Recognizing and Preventing Gang Involvement (COPS)
National Gang Center (NGC)
Guía de Padres en la Prevención del Enredo en Pandillas - Spanish - Parents

Parents' Guide to Gangs - Spanish
Highlights of the 2010 National Youth Gang Survey - (OJJDP)  April 2012, NCJ 237542

Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE)  is a national initiative, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which takes a public health approach to preventing youth violence before it starts.  ...

Understanding Youth Violence Fact Sheet - (CDC) - Youth violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood. The young person can be a victim, an offender, or a witness to the violence. … The ultimate goal is to stop youth violence before it starts. Several prevention strategies have been identified. …

Gangs Toolkit – (COPS) U.S. Department of Justice - Street gang crime can take many forms. The COPS Gangs Toolkit consists of resources for law enforcement officials, educators, and parents to address specific types of crimes committed by gangs. The resources listed provide details of community policing solutions to youth crime and school violence. ...

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015 - A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report examines crime occurring in schools and colleges. This report presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources--the National Crime Victimization Survey, the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the School Survey on Crime and Safety, the School and Staffing Survey and the Campus Safety and Security Survey.
Indicator 8: Students’ Reports of Gangs at School - page 52

Gang Assessment

OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model - A Guide to Assessing Your ... Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - Best Practices to Address Community. Gang Problems: OJJDP's Comprehensive Gang Model. ... [PDF]