Although not a new phenomenon, street gangs and street gang membership continues to be a growing issue across the United States. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, “young men who are members of street gangs are more likely to have psychiatric illnesses and access mental health services” Gang members are also known to “Gang members engage in many high-risk activities associated with psychiatric morbidity, particularly violence-related ones” The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice offers a National Youth Gang Survey. Some of the results from this survey include the following gang statistics:
- 100% of cities with a population of more than 250,000 report gang activity.
- 11% of rural counties report gang activity.
- 35% of suburban counties report gang activity.
- More than half of the homicides reported in Los Angeles, and more than half of the homicides reported in Chicago, are elated to gang violence.
- More than 24,500 gangs are active in the U.S.
- 772,500 people are members of gangs in the U.S.
- 94% of gang members are male.
- Only 2% of gangs are predominantly female.
- Only 37% of gang members are under the age of 18 right now.
- Gang member ethnicity breaks down this way: 47% Hispanic, 31% African American, 13% white, 7% Asian.
- Gang violence costs more than $100 billion a year.
The Florida Gang Investigators Association has been around since 1993. Over the past 22 years we have learned, we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We are putting a focus on gang prevention, intervention, and metal health issues in an attempt to educate one another and look at the root causes behind gang membership. It is socio-economic, media influence, lack of a stable home life?
To start this discussion, FGIA is hosting a Gang Prevention Summit June 8-10, 2015, in Daytona Beach Florida. Come join us and let’s get everyone together, law enforcement, mental health, educators…anyone who wants to save our youth!
Thanks to our partnership with Sandy Pines 6 CEU are available for Florida Board of Nursing, Florida Board of Psychology, the Florida Office of School Psychology, and the Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling through Florida Provider #: 50-946, UHS Youth Services.
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