Gang Typologies Based on Criminal Activities

Katie J.B. Parsons, University of California, Irvine
James W. Meeker, University of California, Irvine

Throughout the gang literature, researchers have been concerned with creating workable typologies of gangs. Historically, many of these typologies have been based on the activities (criminal and non-criminal) engaged in by the gang members. Law enforcement agencies often classify gangs by territoriality, ethnicity or focus of criminal activity. This analysis will examine criminal gang incidents in Orange County California from 1994 to 2000 to see if specific groups of gangs can be unambiguously classified by their criminal activity. These groups will be contrasted on other variables such as spatial location of incidents, victimization data, weapon, and drug involvement.

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Updated 05/20/2006