Report details gang
For the first time in the region, SANDAG has conducted a comprehensive survey of gang involvement among arrestees, gaining some insight into how they entered the gang lifestyle, their activities, and how they compare with other arrestees.
“It is clear from the research that gangs and gang activity pose a danger to our communities for both crime and violence,” said La Mesa Police Chief Alan Lanning, on behalf of the San Diego County Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association. “Community-wide efforts, involving both government and private organizations, must continue to address this danger and provide positive activities and opportunities for those at risk of being involved with gangs. All the law enforcement agencies in the San Diego region continue to work together to address the impact of gang activity and gang violence on the community.”
A recent national survey found that a steady resurgence of gang problems has occurred in many jurisdictions in recent years. In San Diego County, current estimates are that the region is home to 147 different gangs with more than 7,000 members.
Approximately a third of homicides in the county in 2008 (where motive could be determined) were related to gangs.
“This information can help law enforcement and the rest of the community address the threat,” said SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos, a member of the City of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. “This research shows that we need comprehensive strategies to address gang involvement that include prevention and intervention, as well as suppression.”
During 2008, almost 1,000 male and female, adult and juvenile arrestees were interviewed as part of the Substance Abuse Monitoring program at San Diego County detention facilities. Of those, 184 claimed a gang affiliation and 154 agreed to answer additional questions about their gang involvement. The results of those interviews are compiled in the SANDAG Criminal Justice Division’s Gang Involvement Among San Diego County Arrestees in 2008 report.
Some interesting findings in the report include:
Cynthia Burke, Division Director, Criminal Justice Research