National Youth Gang Intervention and Suppression Survey, 1980-1987 (ICPSR 9792)

Principal Investigator(s): Spergel, Irving A.; Curry, G. David


This survey was conducted by the National Youth Gang Intervention and Suppression Program. The primary goals of the program were to assess the national scope of the gang crime problem, to identify promising programs and approaches for dealing with the problem, to develop prototypes from the information gained about the most promising programs, and to provide technical assistance for the development of gang intervention and suppression programs nationwide. The survey was designed to encompass every agency in the country that was engaged in or had recently engaged in organized responses specifically intended to deal with gang crime problems. Cities were screened with selection criteria including the presence and recognition of a youth gang problem and the presence of a youth gang program as an organized response to the problem. Respondents were classified into several major categories and subcategories: law enforcement (mainly police, prosecutors, judges, probation, corrections, and parole), schools (subdivided into security and academic personnel), community, county, or state planners, other, and community/service (subdivided into youth service, youth and family service/treatment, comprehensive crisis intervention, and grassroots groups). These data include variables coded from respondents' definitions of the gang, gang member, and gang incident. Also included are respondents' historical accounts of the gang problems in their areas. Information on the size and scope of the gang problem and response was also solicited.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  National Survey Data - Download All Files (0.517 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  Original Interview Data--1 - Download All Files (0.475 MB)
DS3:  Original Interview Data--2 - Download All Files (0.61 MB)
DS4:  Original Interview Data--3 - Download All Files (0.53 MB)
DS5:  Original Interview Data--4 - Download All Files (0.803 MB)
DS7:  National Survey Data SPSS Export File - Download All Files (0.293 MB)

Study Description


Spergel, Irving A., and G. David Curry. National Youth Gang Intervention and Suppression Survey, 1980-1987. ICPSR09792-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (90-JD-CX-K001)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    communities, crime, gangs, gang violence, intervention, intervention strategies, juvenile gangs, law enforcement, schools

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1980--1987

Date of Collection:   

  • 1987--1988

Universe:    The population includes all participants in community-based gang intervention and suppression programs in the continental United States that could be identified in 1987.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Of the 45 cities and sites meeting the selection criteria, 21 were classified as "chronic" and 24 as "emerging" youth gang problem cities. After a city or jurisdiction was included in the survey, a snowball sampling technique was employed. The initial respondent was asked for a list of other key agencies involved in the community's organized gang response. Each of the identified people at these agencies was subsequently contacted and also asked for such a list, and the interviewer assigned to the city continued to contact actors until all actors' lists were exhausted. Data were collected on 254 respondents.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-10-31

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 1997-08-15 SAS and SPSS data definition statements are now available for Part 1 only of this collection.

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