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CRITICAL INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

As a parent, you're always on the lookout for your children and anything that might harm them.  First we should understand different ways a new gang member is initated.

WHAT DO KIDS HAVE TO DO TO GET INTO THE GANG?

  • Jumped in - This ritual usually consists of the recruit having to fight members of the gang for a specified amount of time. 
  • Courted in - Sometimes an individual is asked to join a gang without going through any initiation.
  • Walked in - Some gangs have to formal initiation and may be asked to join the gang.
  • Commit crimes - Some gangs require that a recruit commit a crime or a series of crimes to prove that they are good candidates for the gangs.

WHAT SIGNS SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

  • Major / Negative Behavior
  • Gang Clothing
  • Hang Signs Gang Tattoos
  • Carrying Weapons
  • Unexplained / fairly large sums of money
  • Gang Graffiti

MAJOR / NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR CHANGES

Typically, teenagers at some point in their life will rebel against authority.  This is to be expected, but if it continues to get progressively worse this could be a sign of a child involved in gangs.  The following are examples of behaviors consistent with that of gang members.

  • Withdraws from family members.  The gang becomes his / her family. 
  • Breaks parental rules consistently. 
  • Grades have dropped / trouble at school.
  • Lack of hobbies or interests.
  • Does not want you to meet their friends.   Friends have nicknames like "Psycho" or "Shooter" and they either do not know the real names or their friends or won't tell you. 
  • Gangster Rap / gangster movies and videos / guns
  • Possible use of alcohol / drugs.
  • Socializing with known or suspected gang members.
  • Frequent negative contact with police / other authority figures.
  • Admits to gang membership.

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Some information provided courtesy of Imagine Media Soluations and used with permission by SECURE in Clarksville, TN

Last updated: 5/12/2010 3:53:00 PM