How Do You Know
If Your Child Is In a Gang?

Gang membership is on the rise. In the City of Los Angeles, there are more than 400 known gangs, with more than 85,000 active participants.
Youngsters join gangs for a variety of reasons, including survival, both as a source of income and prestige; excitement; peer pressure; attention; family tradition; acceptance; and lack of realization of the dangers involved.
The statistics of gang involvement are alarming: By age 18, 90 percent of gang members will be arrested and 75 percent will be arrested twice; 95 percent will not finish high school; and by age 20, 60 percent will be dead or in prison.
There are telltale signs of gang involvement, however, and early intervention can help. Changes to look for in a child include:

  • Lower grades
  • Truancy
  • Possible arrests, particularly assault and burglary
  • Changes in style of dress, such as dark clothing or blue or red clothing; a handkerchief; black pants and shoes; a gang belt buckle; baseball cap; and tattoos on the hands or body
  • Possession of large sums of money, or parents missing money
  • Curfew violations
  • Drug involvement
  • Using obscure hand signals
  • Change in the types of friends and in attitude

The Jeopardy program combines the strength of the community, schools and the police department in making positive, life-long attitude changes in the young people living in our area. These changes, it is believed, will result in a more positive self-concept for the youth, as well as having a positive impact on the community.