"Since 1995, the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC) has conducted an annual survey of law enforcement agencies regarding gang activity. The National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) is based on a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies serving larger cities, suburban counties, smaller cities, and rural counties. As tribal police departments are not included in the survey sample, detailed data about youth gang activity in Indian country1 has largely been absent. In 2001, NYGC implemented a survey of youth gangs in Indian country, surveying 577 federally recognized tribal communities to measure the presence, size, and activity of youth gangs in these communities. The survey defines an Indian 'community' as: [P]ersons of American Indian, Alaska Native, or Aleut heritage who reside within the limits of Indian reservations, pueblos, rancherias, villages, dependent Indian communities, or Indian allotments, and who together comprise a federally recognized tribe or community. Communities also include people who have been recognized by the United States government as a tribe or tribal community, but who do not occupy tribal trust, tribally owned, or Indian allotment lands. Communities are the people and land together or tribal community viewed as a group. Land without the people is not considered a community for the purpose of this survey. Survey respondents provided information for 'youth gangs,' defined as groups of youth or young adults in their community that they or 'other responsible tribal members or service providers [were] willing to identify or classify' as 'gangs.' [...] Twenty-three percent (n=69) of Indian communities reported active youth gangs during 2000 (see Figure 1). For the remainder of this Fact Sheet, these will be called the 'respondents.' Seventy percent of communities reported no gang activity, and 7 percent reported they could not make a determination."
NYGC Fact Sheet No. 01
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/