CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

"How Gang Violence Contributes to Homicide Rates: Study"

From Crime & Consequences:

Violent behavior is commonly associated with gangs and the nature of gang homicides often differs when compared with non-gang homicides. For example, gang homicides are affected by relationships between gangs and are often driven by violent acts of retaliation, or out of fear. Further, gang homicides have an influence on the cycle of victimization that impacts relationships between gangs, violent acts of revenge, and safety. These dynamics can also be affected by a plethora of factors (e.g., social, economic, political, cultural, behavioral) that are salient within a specific area or neighborhood. These factors influence things like subcultures of violence and levels of gang membership, which unsurprisingly can increase the gang homicide rates. Understanding these dynamics is very important for addressing homicides nationwide.

A recently published 2022 study in Deviant Behavior sought to do this using a nationwide sample generated by the National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS). In the study, the authors examined the probability of gang-related homicides in relation to various community and local factors related to gang violence. The results showed that drug-related factors as well as inter- and intra-gang conflict were the most likely to increase the probability of gang-related homicides in a jurisdiction. While many factors may influence the likelihood of gang violence, it appears that specific factors are more likely to result in more serious issues such as homicide.

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