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A guide to community awareness INTRODUCTION This information is to help parents determine if their child is either at risk in becoming associated with or is involved in gang activity Indicators of gang association outlined in this brochure may generally fit a variety of youths If parents observe more than one indicator they should talk to their child about their concerns WHAT IS A GANG A gang is a group of three or more people who associate together have a common identity and engage in criminal or delinquent activity The gang may use a name color clothing style tattoos or other items to identify themselves A gang may or may not claim control over a certain territory in the community WHY PEOPLE JOIN GANGS There are many reasons people join gangs Attention excitement peer pressure protection and financial gain are a few In some families gang membership is a tradition Other people become gang members because they think gangs are trendy Many youths do not realize the risks and hazards of gang involvement Parents may not be aware of their childs involvement Parents should discuss gangs with their child and actively discourage gang association SIGNS OF GANG ASSOCIATION Parents should be aware of behavior changes in their children Such changes include a decline in grades truancy graffiti in the youths room on school folders or on clothes wearing of certain style or color of clothes breaking of curfew change in friends drug andor alcohol use or possession of money or items that a parent cannot explain Involvement of your child with a group of their friends in delinquent or criminal behavior may be another sign Some gang members devise hand signals to communicate with other gang members Use of such signals should alert parents to possible gang association GANG PARAPHERNALIA CLOTHING
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