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Youth Gang Drug Trafficking

NCJ Number
Date Published
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Publication Series
This bulletin analyzes the participation of youth gang members in drug sales and the role of gangs in drug distribution, based on the findings of the 1996 National Youth Gang Survey.
Respondents were asked to estimate the percentage of drug sales they felt involved gang members and to estimate the proportion of drug distribution gangs controlled or managed. Information was also obtained on the age, sex, and racial/ethnic identity of gang members and on gang member involvement in criminal activities other than drug sales and drug distribution. Although widespread drug trafficking among youth gangs was found, serious involvement appeared to be concentrated in a small number of areas and was overwhelmingly associated with young adult rather than juvenile gang members. Youth gang involvement in drug sales and drug distribution cut across all demographic sectors. Program implications of gang member involvement in drug sales and distribution are discussed. The authors conclude that jurisdictions should first assess the particular youth gang drug trafficking problem they confront in order to target their efforts to combat both gang and drug violence more effectively. 33 references, 7 tables, and 1 figure
Date Created: October 6, 2008