Highlights of the 2006 National Youth Gang Survey is an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Fact Sheet that reports findings from the research. Since 1995, the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC) has conducted this annual survey of law enforcement agencies across the United States regarding the presence and characteristics of local gang problems. Selected in 2002, the current nationally representative sample includes all police organizations that serve cities with populations of 50,000 or more and all suburban county police and sheriff’s departments, along with a randomly selected sample of police agencies in smaller cities (between 2,500 and 49,999 population) and rural county police and sheriff’s departments. For the 2006 survey, 86 percent (2,199) of the 2,551 survey recipients responded. NYGC asked participants to report information solely for youth gangs, defined as “a group of youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to identify as a ‘gang.’”
Survey results indicated that approximately 785,000 gang members and 26,500 gangs were active in this country in 2006. The survey asked respondents to indicate factors influencing gang-related violence. Over half of the agencies reported conflict between gangs and drug-related issues as directly affecting levels of gang-related violence. Respondents advised of gang-member migration across U.S. jurisdiction, emergence of new gangs, and the return of gang members from secure confinement as somewhat impacting this type of violence and conflict within a gang and gang-member migration from outside the country as infrequently influencing such criminal behavior. The OJJDP Fact Sheet (FS 200805) is available at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s website at http://www.ncjrs.org.