U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Juvenile Gang Activity in Alabama

NCJ Number
Journal of Gang Research Volume: 2 Issue: 3 Dated: (Spring 1995) Pages: 29-35
J C Armor; V K Jackson
Date Published
7 pages
Law enforcement agencies were surveyed regarding juvenile gang activities in 46 Alabama cities and towns with populations exceeding 10,000 residents; results showed a gang presence in 74 percent of the communities.
The survey instrument was mailed to law enforcement agencies, and each agency was called for its response. Survey findings revealed that Alabama had over 7,500 young people involved in as many as 186 gangs. The average Alabama city had approximately 223 gang members in five gangs, for an average gang size of 45 youths. There was considerable variation in the number of gangs, depending on city size. Demographically, the statewide racial profile of gangs was 78 percent black and 22 percent white. Ten percent of gang members were female and 90 percent were male. Medium-sized cities had the highest level of black gang involvement, while large cities experienced the highest degree of female gang involvement. In terms of gang-related criminal/delinquent activities, drug crimes were the most common. Gang victimizations were fairly even between other gangs and the general public. Large cities, however, showed a much higher incidence of attacks on other gangs. Preferred methods of gang initiation seemed to be "jumping in" or beating new members and sending initiates on specific crime missions. Gangs identifying with some branch of the Disciples were the most common. Large cities saw a greater incidence of violent gang activities than small communities. 15 references and 6 tables