Gang Awareness, Information and Resources
Web site space provided by Redeemer Lutheran Church, Woodstock, Illinois
This page has been created to serve as a resource for parents, teachers and others seeking information about street gangs, gang activity and signs of involvement with street gangs. Information provided here has been gathered from a wide variety of Internet resources and is intended to serve as a quick reference for general information. For more detailed gang information, links are provided to various gang-related web sites as well as gang affiliated sites and pages. Additionally links to books and other published resources are also included. We are always looking for the most up-to-date gang information and photographs of gang graffiti or tags and welcome your submissions and suggestions.
Please feel free to share this site (www.ganginfo.rlcw.org) with others!
The local scene... Here in Woodstock, IL there are two predominant gangs. They are the Latin Kings (ALKQN) and Norteños or 14s. These two street gangs oppose each other and most visibly express their opposition through Graffiti. Parents, know the gang colors for your area! In the Woodstock area the Latin Kings identify themselves with the colors black and gold or yellow. The 14s, (XIVs) a rival gang, identify themselves with the color red and also have been known to wear light blue North Carolina gear for the N.C. to signify Northern California. Remember, colors alone don't necessarily signify gang membership. Look for the combinations of colors, symbols and/or other gang identifiers.
What is a gang? A short definition: A gang is an organized group with a recognized leader whose activities are either criminal or, at the very least, threatening to your community
Street gangs have existed in the United States for many years and their origins can be traced back to various larger metropolitan areas. Many gangs originally formed as a means of self-protection for family and friends within their neighborhood. Eventually, activities of these gangs led to criminal activity as a source of income.
Generally speaking, gangs, as we see them today, were formed for the most part in the Chicago area or areas of California, primarily, Southern California. Many of the hundreds of copy-cat gangs that have formed throughout America are based on the Chicago and California gangs.
|People Nation Identifiers||Gang Symbols or Identifiers||Folk Nation Identifiers|
|Today's street gangs are
essentially divided into two major factions or "nations". These
"nations" represent alliances wherein a number of individual gangs are
allied within one of the two primary "nations". Each alliance has its
own symbols or "identifiers" which may
appear in the form of graffiti, jewelry, on clothing
and many other forms. (These identifiers have been found in seemingly
innocent doodles or drawings by grade school and middle school children.)
These symbols often appear in
combination. For example, you'll see a star and a crown. (People/Latin
Kings) This may reveal both the alliance and the individual gang,
also known as a set. Additional information and
graphics are provided further on.
It is important to note that while many street gangs consider themselves to be part of one "nation" or the other, some gangs (Locally, the 14s/XIVs and 13s/X3s) do not identify themselves with a particular nation.
Gangs are forming at an alarming rate. They have been identified throughout North America in cities and communities, large and small, urban and rural. Today, street gang membership encompasses all races from most socioeconomic levels and is not limited to larger cities.
The presence of gangs may be seen everywhere. Gang members do not represent an invisible empire. They thrive on recognition and are constantly seeking ways to make their presence known or felt. Gangs only go unseen when law enforcement personnel, as well as educators and parents, fail to recognize signs of gang activity and an individuals involvement.
Too often, a community or a department will proclaim that there are no gangs within the community, stating that there are only a few youths who are "Wannabes." This term should never be used. By overlooking the fact that these youths have adopted a gang name, use gang signs and symbols and commit crimes, these youths are "Gonnabes." Failing to recognize or denying the existence of gang activity, whether willingly or through a lack of gang identification training, drastically increases a gang's ability to thrive and develop a power base.
Why do young
people join gangs?
There are nearly as many reasons as there are gang members. These are some common reasons:
Pride & respect
Sense of belonging
Structure, rules, codes
Sense of direction
Sense of purpose
Glamour of gangster image
So... What Can You Do To Prevent Gang Violence?
Members of People Nation sets (gangs) are known to use these (and other) symbols:
In addition to these symbols, People Nation groups also use left identifiers. For example they:
Some major People Nation sets (gangs) are listed below:
Members of Folk Nation sets (gangs) are known to use these (and other) symbols:
Folk Nation group members use right identifiers
to distinguish themselves from the People Nation groups/gangs.
Some major Folk Nation sets (gangs) are:
Parents should be aware of various identifiers gangs use and be observant that they do not appear on the personal articles of their children. Book bags, posters and gang colors are used to convey the gang message. Jewelry, articles of clothing and seemingly innocent styles, symbols, color combinations, etc. can be used to convey a gang message.
Following is a list of items to assist you in recognizing street gang members that you may encounter in your neighborhood. Please remember that if a person is wearing one of the following identifiers it does not always mean that he or she is a gang member. Parents should be on the lookout for multiple identifiers, or patterns in the use of these identifiers.
Right / Left Rule
Pay particular attention to jewelry, decorations, grooming, etc. The Right/Left Rule can be subtle. Watch for signs like one pants leg cuffed, a belt buckle worn to one side, an eyebrow on one side with a shaved nick in it, one shoe consistently untied or with the tongue out...
The following is a breakdown of ways gangs interpret clothing labels, college names and sport teams
FILA - F
(folks) I (in) L
(love) A (always)
The "gang look" is meant to intimidate those who are not in a gang. Children and teenagers who dress in clothing that resembles gang attire are showing an interest in gangs, will attract the attention of gangs, and could be putting themselves in extreme danger. In recent years children have been shot and killed by gangs simply for wearing gang related clothing. For the safety of your children, it is very important that you do not buy or allow your children to wear any item that gang members use to identify with the gang. Some current and traditional gang clothing and styles are listed below:
What is gang graffiti and what should you do about it?
Gang graffiti serves one of
the following purposes:
kind of graffiti, you should follow the four 'Rs':
What do numbers sometimes found in gang graffiti mean?
Part of the language of gangs includes the use of numbers as symbols or numbers that correspond to letters of the alphabet. It provides a kind of shorthand or code for gangs. For example, the numbers 1-26 correspond with the alphabet letters A-Z. 15-11-2 would mean OKB (Oriental Killer Boys). 2-11 would mean BK (Blood Killer), a sign of the Crips. The number 5 always refers to the People Nation (i.e., 5 pointed star symbol). The number 6 always refers to the Folk Nation (i.e., 6 pointed star symbol).
area codes are used to identify gangs:
Another number you may frequently see is 187 – the police code for murder. You may also see the use of dots by Hispanic and Asian gangs. Frequently, these identifiers are found in the web of the hand, on the back of the hand or between the fingers. They are often in groups of three and may mean one of the following: Mi Vida Loco (My crazy life) or family/friends/gang.
Click for some examples of gang graffiti...
Click for gang-related Publications & Resources (On-line and in print...)
Click for gang awareness and gang-related Links.
Gang Profile: The Latin Kings (NGRC) ©2008
The GANGSTER DISCIPLES: A Gang Profile (NGRC) ©2008
The Satan's Disciples: A Gang Profile (NGRC) ©2008
The Black Disciples (NGRC) ©2004
The Tupamaro Gang of Venezuela (NGRC) ©2008
The 2008 NGCRC 11th International Gang Specialist Training Conference
Books and Publications Recommended by the NATIONAL GANG CRIME RESEARCH CENTER
Special report on Largest study of gang members ever conducted (GANGFACT) -- PDF Format
Northwest Herald Article "Sting nets 9 suspected street gang members" (April, 2007)
Gangs in the Chicago Suburbs - A list sorted by town names (Chicagogangs.org)
49 arrested in ICE-led operation targeting gang members for deportation
NGRC - Guest Speakers Available! (Contact Information)
Questions? Comments? Report a dead
Communication in general about these gang-related pages, or to submit a gang graffiti photograph... Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Return mail/replies may come from a different address)
Please share this information with others! (www.ganginfo.rlcw.org)
See our church's main/home page for other, non gang-related communication and information...
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