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Gangs (Security Threat Groups) - General

Using automated databases and working with a variety of entities, the National Gang Center identifies gang-related legislation. This information is updated as new legislation and existing legislation are identified

Some threats to correctional institutional security — e.g., violence, escape attempts, contraband — are as old as the institutions themselves, while other threats — e.g., computer hacking, synthetic drugs, cell phones, drones — have evolved with societal and technological changes. Many of these threats present risks to public safety as a whole. In light of the ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats, RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to institutional security.

This literature review begins with a discussion of the affiliative factors contributing to a person’s radicalization at the mass, group, and individual levels. Ideology does not seem to be “the” or possibly even “a” primary factor. The study continues with reasons for exiting, factors that may inhibit leaving an extremist group, and deradicalization efforts. Following these sections is a look at gangs and cults. It appears that deradicalization, deganging, and deprogramming efforts are not overly effective because they do not address the central affiliative factors important to the individual.

The FBI is dedicated to disrupting and dismantling the most significant gangs through intelligence-driven investigations and new and longstanding initiatives and partnerships such as Safe Streets Task Forces, the National Gang Intelligence Center, and Transnational Anti-Gang Task Forces.

This website has general information about gangs as well as links to other topics such as "what is a gang?", gang activity and prevalence, research and evaluation projects on gangs.

This bulletin should be the first stop for anyone interested in gangs and their history. Topics discussed include: the influence of population migration patterns on gang emergence; street gang emergence in the Northeast; gangs in New York City; modern-day Eastern gangs; street gangs in Chicago; modern-day Midwest gangs; gang names and alliances; gang growth in the West; Los Angeles’ gangs; modern-day gangs in the West; gang emergence in the South; immigrant group waves; “transnational” gangs; 18th Street Gang; Mara Salvatrucha 13; Central America gang member estimates; U.S. gang involvement in drug trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border; cartel territories and drug routes; gang influence along the U.S.-Mexico border; the revolving door of transnational gang member migration; and concluding observations.

Most gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Many display tattoos openly and dress in a style identifying their particular gang. Their personal belongings are frequently covered with graffiti and bear the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name.

This series of articles provide a general primer about gangs on the street and in prisons. Topics discussed include what a gang is, gang violence, reasons juveniles join gangs, the gang leader, gang protectiveness, and recruiting of new members. Information is then provided for the Bloods, Crips, Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings), Neta Association, Mara Sakvatrucha (MA, MS-13), Folk Nation, Mexican Mafia, Juggalo, and skinheads.

This webpage has links to recent publications and National Youth Gang Surveys.

The 2015 National Gang Report (NGR) presents an overview of current gang activities and trends in the United States. Intelligence in this report is derived from Unclassified sources.


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