"The 1996 National Youth Gang Survey was sent to two groups: a statistically representative sample of 3,024 law enforcement agencies and a sample of 1,956 law enforcement agencies that were surveyed in the 1995 National Youth Gang Survey, but not selected for the 1996 representative sample. Information and analyses included in this report were limited to the survey responses for the statistically representative sample, as the data were more comprehensive and allowed for a more complete nationwide perspective. [...] The results of this survey indicate that the youth gang problem in this country is substantial and affects communities of all sizes. Almost three-fourths of the cities surveyed with populations greater than 25,000 reported youth gangs in 1996. Furthermore, a majority of suburban counties had gangs, as did a significant percentage of small cities and rural counties. Caucasians were found to be more involved in gang activity than previous studies and surveys had indicated, and their predominance in rural counties and small cities was especially high. Gang members were involved in a significant amount of crime, but the degree of involvement and type of crime varied by area type, region, and population. Examination of these data by the National Youth Gang Center will continue, and subsequent surveys will help to gather more information about gangs and gang members."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/