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What is a criminal gang?

According to Idaho Statute 18-8502, a criminal gang is “an ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, that has a common name or common identifying sign or symbol, whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern or criminal gang activity, having as one of its primary activities the commission of one or more criminal acts.”

What is a criminal gang member?

According to Idaho Statute 18-8502, a criminal gang member is “any person who engages in a pattern of criminal gang activity and who meets two of the following criteria:

  1. Admits to gang membership;
  2. Is identified as a gang member;
  3. Resides in or frequents a particular gang’s area and adopts its style of dress, its use of hand signs, or its tattoos, and associates with known gang members;
  4. Has been arrested more than once in the company of identified gang members for offenses that are consistent with usual gang activity;
  5. Is identified as a gang member by physical evidence such as photographs or other documentation; or
  6. Has been stopped in the company of known gang members four or more times.”

What are the levels of gang involvement?

  1. Associate (Hang Around 35%)
  2. Prospect (Wanna Be 25%)
  3. Probationary (Gonna Be 10%)
  4. Hard Core (Active Member 10%)
  5. Leader (Shot Caller 5%)
  6. Veteran (Retired with Honor 15%)

What are the 3 R’s of gang life?

  1. Respect
    • Their power over others is based on this.
    • If you don’t fear me…you don’t respect me.
    • The more I make you fear me…the more I can force you to respect me.
    • The more violent I am…the more respect I get.
  2. Reputation
    • Your status in the gang is based on this.
    • Obtained through acts of:
      • Courage
      • Loyalty
      • Violence
  3. Retaliation
    • If you break the rules for the gang, you disrespect the other members.
    • Disrespect cannot be allowed…it must be addressed…no matter how small or how long it takes.

How many gangs and gang members are there nationally?

There are about 30,000 violent street, motorcycle and prison gangs with approximately 800,000 members operating in the United States today (Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, May 2007).

What are common gang identifiers?

  1. Specific hand signs used to greet each other.
  2. Common style of dress.
  3. Display of specific colors.
  4. Display of specific symbols in:
    • Graffiti
    • Tattoos
    • Drawings
  5. Appearance in group photos with known gang members.