From the Administrator

As an increasing number of small cities and communities are beset by the emergence and growth of youth gangs -- once regarded as the problem of major metropolitan cities -- concerns about gang migration and its effects on gang proliferation have grown. Evidence of gang migration for purposes of drug distribution and other activities has been presented by law enforcement, the media, and others.

But what is the true scope of gang migration and what types of gangs migrate? A clear understanding of the nature and scope of gang migration and its impact on local gang activities is critical. Gang Members on the Move attempts to clarify the concepts of "gang" and "gang migration," and draws on the National Survey on Gang Migration and other literature to provide a preliminary but enlightening look at the relationship between gang migration and proliferation.

Although the author, noted researcher Cheryl Maxson, acknowledges the need for additional research on gang migration and its effects, she concludes that communities should examine their own dynamics before attributing their gang problems to migration. Indeed, we need to look at all of the factors that contribute to gang problems locally if we are to design a prevention, intervention, and suppression strategy to address them effectively.

Shay Bilchik

Gang Members on the Move Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  October 1998