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
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
- 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.