What is the prevalence, ethnicity, criminal behavior and drug use of gang members?

In 1995, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), surveyed law enforcement departments all over the country in order to understand the prevalence of gangs, ethnic and racial makeup of gangs, the types of crimes their members committed, and the drugs which their members used. The results are summarized in this chart. OJJDP sent surveys to 368 State prosecutor's offices, asking about the presence of gangs in their jurisdictions and the prevalence of prosecution of gang members in their jurisdictions, either for crimes committed by gangs as a group (rare) and crimes committed by gang members. Since it is difficult in most cases to prove an entire gang has committed a crime, most statistics reflect crimes committed by adolescents who say that they are affiliated with a gang.

Source: Claire Johnson, Webster, & Connors, Prosecuting Gangs A National Assessment, Washington, D.C., National Institute of Justice, 1995.

Can anything discourage gang membership?