How to Discourage
Your Children from
o Discourage your children from Prevention is the answer
hanging around with gang
members. Meet your children’s
o Occupy your children’s time.
o Spend time with your children.
o Do not buy or allow your children
to dress in gang style clothing.
o Do not allow your children to write
or practice writing gang names,
symbols, or any other graffiti on
their books, papers, clothes, bodies,
walls or any other place. *In case of emergency please call
o Teach your children to respect
other people’s property. 911
o Learn about gang and drug activity *For non-emergency calls please
IS YOUR CHILD
in your community. Learn how call AT RISK TO
gang members dress, how they
speak, their behavior, and their
(407) 846-3333 BECOME A GANG
o BE AN INFORMED PARENT!
*For more crime prevention
information please call
What is a Gang?
1) An “informal” dress code that is followed by your What Gangs Do?
child, and his or her associates (hats, scarves, jewelry,
shoelaces, colors, tattoos and insignias, etc.).
Many gang activities are consistent with those engaged
Gangs are usually formed according to by a large portion of society. But, when a gang
2) Street slang, use of nicknames and hand signs.
ethic or racial guidelines, although there member is involved in a weekend party, fund-
seems to be a current trend to form gangs 3) Newly acquired and unexplained “wealth” often raising car wash, or even a family or
for economic reasons. Traditional youth displayed, worn or shared with peers. neighborhood picnic, the potential for violence
gangs structured along ethic lines include and criminal activity is far greater than for any
4) Graffiti on personal property, book covers, other group of people. Gang members seek
Hispanic, Asian (e.g. Vietnamese, Laotian), notebooks and clothing. This graffiti may include confrontation with rivals. The resulting violence
Black, Pacific Islander (e.g. Tongan, initials, numbers, names, expressed racism or hatred often claims innocent victims. Gang violence
Filipino), and White (e.g. Skinheads) gangs. or religious groups or sexual preferences. varies from individual assaults to drive-by
A gang is a group of people who form an shootings. Some gangs are involved in the sale
allegiance for a common purpose and Factors Contributing to Gang Affiliation of drugs, extortion, robberies, motor vehicle
thefts, or other criminal activity for monetary
engage in violent, unlawful, or criminal gain. While gang violence and criminal activity
Parents should look for change in behavior and
activity. A gang may or may not claim often make headlines, vandalism in the form of
lifestyle of their child. Contributing factors placing a
control over a certain territory in the youth at risk include ineffective parental skills, history
graffiti and the wanton destruction of public and
community. private property is often done in the furtherance
of family gang involvement and evidence of parental
of the gang’s reputation. Abandoned houses are
abuse or neglect. This type of dysfunctional family
a favorite target for vandalism, but even
How Gangs Function? atmosphere affects the youth’s school behavior,
leading to poor academic achievement and early
occupied houses do not escape. Local businesses
suffer not only from property damage and
antisocial behavior. The at-risk youth now becomes a graffiti, but also from loss of customers and
Gangs thrive on intimidation and personal risk. The youth will display low self-esteem employees.
notoriety. They often find violence and may begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
glamorous and a necessity in order to As the youth searches for his or her new identity, he
maintain individual and gang status. Like Neighborhood Involvement
usually isolates himself with others experiencing
most groups, street gangs depend upon similar social and personal problems. Youth exposed
Gangs attempt to instill fear, intimidating rivals
both individual and group participation. to these influences without guidance has a tendency to
and citizens alike. The gang’s power grows
Unlike legitimate groups or organizations, accept and legitimize his activities. The youth will
through the use of fear and intimidation. This
flourish and strive in his or her newly found status.
street gangs generally do not have an can be countered by citizen’s action groups such
This self rewarding status guarantees the youth’s as Neighborhood Watch. A neighborhood that
identified leader. The person who is the indulgence with the gang culture. is united and dedicated in a spirit of cooperation
toughest, has the guns, or has the most
toward stopping crime and violence will greatly
money may emerge as the leader, but this Effects of Gang Involvement hamper the gang’s effort to flourish.
status is generally short-lived.
Gang membership extracts a terrible toll from the When incidents occur, cooperate with authorities.
Sings of Gang Involvement
lives of all who are in contact with the member.
Families of gang members must be concerned for
Your help and cooperation may prevent others from
their own safety as well as that of their son or becoming victims of gang violence, information
daughter who is a gang member. Friends who are not concerning gang crimes, wanted suspects, or any
Certain signs indicate gang involvement in violent gang activity should be reported to your law
involved with gangs are cast aside and soon the
our community or on school campuses. youth’s only friends are gang members. enforcement agency.
Parents should be aware of these warning
signs and should be ready to employ the Gang membership, although a temporary phase for
some youths, will shape the individual’s future.
appropriate prevention and intervention Formal education is discarded because it is counter
strategies. These warning signs include: productive to gang’s objectives.