5 Fast Facts: Gang members in America

1. A list of gangs/security threat groups encountered within the Department of Corrections for the city of Tallahassee include: Young Gun, Southside Neighborhood Gp, Rockbrook Boys, Joe Louis Street Posse, Basin Street Rat Pack, 4 Avenue Players, Black United Soldiers, City of Charies Posse, Holton Street Boys, and Lake Bradford Boys.

2. Current trends show women membership is skyrocketing in Florida and across the nation. Women are valued by the majority of gangs and often placed in support roles such as carrying weapons and drugs.

3. It is estimated that approximately 731, 500 gang members and 21, 500 gangs were active in the United States in 2002.

4. In November 2004 a 19-year-old gang member in Fort Worth, Texas, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally shooting a childhood friend who wanted to leave their local street gang.

5. Historically, youth have been drawn to gangs because gang affiliation can provide the status and peer acceptance important in adolescent development that is otherwise unavailable to at-risk youth.

Compiled by Katrelle Simmons.

Sources: http://www.fgia.com, http://www.ncjrs.gov, http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/fl.html, http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs11/13157/13157p.pdf, http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/facts/gangs.asp.