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Prevalence of Five Gang Structures in 201 Cities in the United States, 1992 and 1995 (ICPSR 2792) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The goal of this study was to provide useful data on how street gang crime patterns (by amount and type of offense) relate to common patterns of street gang structure, thus providing focused, data-based guidelines for gang control and intervention. The data collection consists of two components: (1) descriptions of cities' gang activities taken from an earlier study of gang migration in 1992, IMPACT OF GANG MIGRATION: EFFECTIVE RESPONSES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1992 (ICPSR 2570), and (2) gang structure data from 1995 interviews with police agencies in a sample of the same cities that responded to the 1992 survey. Information taken from the 1992 study includes the year of gang emergence in the city, numbers of active gangs and gang members, ethnic distribution of gang members, numbers of gang homicides and "drive-bys" in 1991, state in which the city is located, and population of the city. Information from the 1995 gang structures survey provides detail on the ethnic distributions of gangs, whether a predominant gang structure was present, each gang structure's typical size, and the total number of each of the five gang structures identified by the principal investigators -- chronic traditional, emergent traditional, emergent integrated, expanded integrated, and specialty integrated. City crime information was collected on the spread of arrests, number of serious arrests, volume and specialization of crime, arrest profile codes and history, uniform crime rate compared to city population, ratio of serious arrests to total arrests, and ratio of arrests to city population.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (0.9 MB)
Documentation:

Study Description

Citation

Klein, Malcolm, and Cheryl L. Maxson. PREVALENCE OF FIVE GANG STRUCTURES IN 201 CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1992 AND 1995. ICPSR02792-v1. Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California [producer], 1996. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02792.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-0044)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   cities, crime patterns, drive-by shootings, gang members, gang migration, gang violence, gangs, homicide, intervention, law enforcement

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992
  • 1995

Date of Collection:  

  • 1992--1993

Unit of Observation:   Agencies.

Universe:   Law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The goal of this study was to provide useful data on how street gang crime patterns (by amount and type of offense) relate to common patterns of street gang structure, thus providing focused, data-based guidelines for gang control and intervention. The researchers utilized data from two sources to calculate estimates of the national prevalence of various types of gang structures, and of the perceived patterns of criminal activity associated with each structure. While previous attempts to typologize gangs relied heavily upon their crime patterns, these data describe gangs in relation to their structural properties.

Study Design:   The data collection consists of two components: (1) descriptions of cities' gang activities taken from an earlier study of gang migration in 1992, IMPACT OF GANG MIGRATION: EFFECTIVE RESPONSES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1992 (ICPSR 2570), and (2) gang structures data from 1995 interviews with the police agencies in a sample of the same cities that responded to the 1992 survey. For the 1992 study, the researchers obtained membership lists of gang investigator associations and solicited candidate municipalities from law enforcement contacts across the country. The primary agency responsible for policing each city was identified from the 1991 National Directory of Law Enforcement Administrators. If the municipality contracted police services to an agency other than the local police department, this agency was contacted instead. In order to learn more about the varieties of gang types nationally, and how these might relate to different forms of crime, the researchers administered the gang structures survey in 1995 to a sample of the same law enforcement agencies from the 1992 survey. First, the researchers faxed or mailed the descriptions of the five types of gangs to the law enforcement officers. Then the law enforcement officers were contacted for an interview. At the beginning of the interview, the researchers ascertained that the officers had reviewed the descriptions, since survey questions were based on understanding the descriptions.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

mailed surveys and telephone interviews

Description of Variables:   Information taken from the 1992 study included the year of gang emergence in the city, numbers of active gangs and gang members, ethnic distribution of gang members, numbers of gang homicides and "drive-bys" in 1991, state in which the city is located, and population of the city. Information from the 1995 gang structures survey provides detail on the ethnic distributions of gangs, whether a predominant gang structure was present, each gang structure's typical size, and the total number of each of the five gang structures identified by the principal investigators -- chronic traditional, emergent traditional, emergent integrated, expanded integrated, and specialty integrated. City crime information was collected on the spread of arrests, number of serious arrests, volume and specialization of crime, arrest profile codes and history, uniform crime rate compared to city population, ratio of serious arrests to total arrests, and ratio of arrests to city population.

Response Rates:   The response rate was 80 percent (201 cities).

Presence of Common Scales:   None

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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