Juvenile Justice Bulletin
Shay Bilchik, Administrator August 1998

Youth Gangs: An Overview

From the Administrator


History of Youth Gangs

Demographic Characteristics

Scope of the Problem

Why Do Youth Join Gangs?

Youth Gangs and Violence

Changing Composition of Youth Gangs




James C. Howell is an Adjunct Researcher at the National Youth Gang Center, Institute for Intergovernmental Research.

This Bulletin was prepared under cooperative agreement 95-JD-MU-K001 to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

NCJ 167249