Impact of Community Characteristics on Gang Related Activity Near Schools

Darcy J. Purvis, University of California, Irvine
James W. Meeker, University of California, Irvine

As media coverage has increased on the incidents of school violence, the academic analysis of school violence has also increased. However, most analysis has consisted of student self-report surveys and police report data. Last year we presented analysis of the gang related activity near schools from the Orange County Gang Incident Tracking System (GITS). This database includes police report data for all 22 law enforcement agencies. This previous analysis was limited to factors describing the criminal activity itself. This paper utilizes the same data, but includes analysis of community and school characteristics and their relationship to gang related activities near schools. School characteristics such as middle school vs. high school, schools with resource/police officers, class size, public vs. private schools vs. alternate schools, percentage of economic disadvantage students at school, school test scores, etc. will be considered. Community characteristics such as unemployment, household income, population density, etc. will be cosidered. This paper will conclude spatial and geographic analysis of gang related activity within safe school zones.

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Updated 05/20/2006