Street Gangs and Drug Sales in Pasadena and Pomona, California, 1989-1991 (ICPSR 6255)

Version Date: Jan 12, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Cheryl L. Maxson, University of Southern California. Center for Research on Crime and Social Control.; Malcolm W. Klein, University of Southern California. Center for Research on Crime and Social Control.; Lea C. Cunningham, University of Southern California. Center for Research on Crime and Social Control.

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06255.v2

Version V2

These data were collected to explore connections between street gangs and drug distribution. The research objectives for this study were (1) to assess the magnitude of gang involvement in cocaine and other drug sales in two suburban cities, (2) to compare the characteristics of gang-involved drug sale incidents with those without gang involvement, (3) to assess the generalizability of findings on cocaine to other drugs, and from urban to more suburban settings, and (4) to translate the implications of the research findings into the development of law enforcement strategies. Law enforcement arrest records and gang membership records were obtained for two study sites, Pasadena and Pomona, California. Part 1, the incident-level file, supplies information on arrest incidents qualifying as drug sales. Variables in the file include presence at arrest of violence, guns, cash, and drugs, types of charges, gang characteristics of the incident, racial/ethnic makeup of arrestees, gender of arrestees, and gang affiliation of arrestees. Part 2, the participant-level file, supplies data on each participant in each incident. Variables in this file include gender, ethnicity, gang membership status, and charges.

Maxson, Cheryl L., Klein, Malcolm W., and Cunningham, Lea C. Street Gangs and Drug Sales in Pasadena and Pomona, California, 1989-1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06255.v2

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (91-IJ-CX-K010)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1989 -- 1991
1992

This study was conducted to explore connections between street gangs and drug distribution. Most sources (including law enforcement opinion) suggest a strong connection, with increases in violence as a side effect. No such connection was found in earlier research, but the emergence of "crack" cocaine and subsequent law enforcement beliefs in a strong link between gangs and crack distribution led to the initiation of this study. The research objectives for this study were (1) to assess the magnitude of gang involvement in cocaine and other drug sales in two suburban cities, (2) to compare the characteristics of gang-involved drug sale incidents with those without gang involvement, (3) to assess the generalizability of findings on cocaine to other drugs, and from urban to more suburban settings, and (4) to translate the implications of the research findings into the development of law enforcement strategies.

Law enforcement arrest records and gang membership records were obtained for two study sites, Pasadena and Pomona, California. At each site, researchers were given a computer-generated list of all suspects arrested for drug sale offenses between 1989 and 1991, along with co-arrestees charged with incident-related offenses. If the type of drug was not clarified by the arrest code or drug evidence listed, case records were checked in order to categorize incidents as cocaine-involved or not. Cases including the sales of other drugs in addition to cocaine were categorized as cocaine sales. Teams of trained, supervised students extracted information relevant to the incident from case file material.

Pasadena and Pomona were selected from a pool of cities with populations of 100,000-300,000 that had reported the existence of gangs prior to 1981. All drug sale incidents in the two selected cities from 1989 to 1991 were included, as were all suspects arrested for these offenses, and their co-arrestees. Incidents were coded as cocaine or non-cocaine, gang or non-gang. Up to 100 cases in each of the four groups were sampled randomly from the list constructed for each city.

Cities in the United States with populations of 100,000-300,000 that reported the onset of gangs prior to 1981.

Part 1: The arrest incident. Part 2: The individual.

arrest records and gang membership files

administrative records data

Variables in the incident-level file include presence at arrest of violence, guns, cash, and drugs, types of charges, gang characteristics of the incident, racial/ethnic makeup of arrestees, gender of arrestees, and gang affiliation of arrestees. Variables in the participant-level file include gender, ethnicity, gang membership status, and charges.

Not applicable.

No scales were used.

1995-06-05

2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Maxson, Cheryl L., Malcolm W. Klein, and Lea C. Cunningham. Street Gangs and Drug Sales in Pasadena and Pomona, California, 1989-1991. ICPSR06255-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06255.v2

2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 3 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

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.

1995-06-05 The codebook was converted to machine-readable (PDF) format.

1995-06-05 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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.