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Gang Investigator's Handbook: A Law-Enforcement Guide to Identifying and Combating Violent Street Gangs

NCJ Number
Matthew David O'Deane Ph.D.
Date Published
327 pages
Written by an experienced gang investigator from a major metropolitan prosecutor's office, this guide contains a variety of strategies and tips for identifying and suppressing gangs in any community.
A chapter on "Gang Basics" defines a "gang" and a "gang member," followed by discussions of gang crime, levels of gang membership, the recruiting process, gang migration, and gang statistics. This is followed by a chapter that discusses "Why Gangs Form," with attention to factors related to individual disposition, history, context, clinical factors, and warning signs of gang involvement. A chapter on "Types of Gangs" considers Hispanic gangs, African-American gangs, White gangs, Asian gangs, prison gangs, biker gangs, and female gangs. A chapter on "Gang Investigation Fundamentals" focuses on gang intelligence files and gang crime analysis. "Identifying Gang Membership" is the topic of chapter 5. Symbols of gang membership pertain to tattoos, hand signs, monikers, clothing, graffiti, magazines and Web pages, newspaper clippings, address books, and business cards. A chapter on "Interviewing Gang Members" includes discussions of field interview cards, gang contact, documenting gang membership, and establishing rapport with gang members. "Recruiting and Managing Gang Informants" is the subject of another chapter, followed by a chapter on "Basic Gang Crime Suppression." The latter chapter describes directed patrol, gang sweeps, community-oriented policing, gang prevention programs, and educating the public about gangs. Other chapters address gang drug activity and drug enforcement, the use of gang injunctions, in-custody gang investigations, gang case management and prosecution, community concerns and complaints about gang enforcement, societal solutions to the gang problem, and how to interpret gang identifiers. Approximately 400 illustrative photos and appended samples (gang wiretap, gang search warrant, and gang injunction declaration) and primary gang trends for the next 10 years


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