What is the general gang membership structure?
Why do gangs use graffiti and what does it mean?
As gang activity increases so does their graffiti. Graffiti has been called the "newspaper of the streets." Each gang has its unique symbols and cryptic types of writing. Graffiti is not art work; it is sophisticated communication that publicizes the gang's power, status, delineates territory, sends messages, and warns intruders. Graffiti upside down or crossed out is generally a 'put down' or threat to a rival gang or person. 'Death warrants' for police officers are known to have been posted with graffiti.
What do you do about gang graffiti?
Read It! Record It! Report It! And Remove It!! Gang graffiti left unchecked can be dangerous. Remember it can communicate an outright threat against an opposing gang or person. First the graffiti must be read and interpreted for danger signals. Second, it should be photographed. Then, a police report should be made for tracking purposes. Finally, the graffiti should be removed to reduce the likelihood of continued violence.
What are gang colors and gang signs?
Colors refers to a gang member representing his/her membership by wearing a specific gang logo, particular colors of clothing, a specific brand name of clothing or clothing worn in a predefined manner. This may also include hair styles, jewelry, or even the way a person stands, walks or folds arms and hands. Colors identify the gang member and show member pride and affiliation.
Hand signals and gang slang are a means of communication. Symbols formed and flashed with the fingers, hands, and body have very specific meaning to the gang. The same goes for buzz words or phrases. Remember all of these may be area or geographic region specific and meanings may vary.
How do you deal with gangs?
What are some typical pre-gang behaviors?
Gang involvement does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process and if you are alert you will see the signs.
These items are characteristic of gang involvement. However, some people who join or associate with gangs do not dress in the traditional attire and do not exhibit conspicuous behavior to show gang involvement. Parents must be aware of the behavior and activities of their children. Continual monitoring of behavior and positive verbal communication between parents and young people is a must for gang membership prevention.
What can parents do?
What are some parental strategies to combat gangs?
What are some community anti-gang strategies?
Gang Assessment Tool
Add up your score:
0 - 20 points = No Problem
25 - 45 points = Emerging Problems
50 - 65 points = You Have Problems
70 + points = There Are Serious Problems
At 50+ points a need exists to develop a gang prevention and intervention program.