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A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • gangs
  • gang members
  • street gangs
  • prison gangs
  • motorcycle gangs
  • drug traffic
  • gangsta
  • transnational crime
  • youth gangs
  • gang violence
  • gang culture
  • criminal gangs
  • gangs and (country/state/region/continent)
  • gangs encyclopedia
  • gang prevention
  • transnational gangs

Related Topics:
  • drug trafficking
  • human trafficking
  • juvenile delinquency
  • poverty
  • disadvantaged youth

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "street gangs"
  • site:mil gangs

Federal Government Information
National Gang Center

The purpose of the NYGC is to assist policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in their efforts to reduce youth gang involvement and crime by contributing information, resources, practical tools, and expertise towards the development and implementation of effective gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.

National Gang Report

"The purpose of the 2015 NGR is to provide a national overview of the current gang threat in the United States by collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data obtained from law enforcement agencies across the nation." Information on all types of gangs.  2015

History of Street Gangs in the United States

This report discusses the creation and dissolution of gangs and their changing dynamics and associations from a sociological as well as a criminological viewpoint.

U.S. Gang Problem Trends and Seriousness, 1996-2009

A brief history of gangs in the United States begins this short report that includes statistics on gang-related activity and violent crime.

Changing Course: Preventing Gang Membership

Chapters explore the roles family, community, police, schools, and public health can play in helping children to avoid a life of gangs and crime. 2013 version/239234.pdf

Beyond the Streets: America’s Evolving Gang Threat

This hearing discusses the recent uptick in gang membership and discusses what communities can do to lower the success of gang recruitment efforts. 2013

Why Youth Join Gangs - video

This video describes risk factors associated with probability of eventual gang membership. 2013

Exploring Drug Gangs’ Ever-Evolving Tactics to Penetrate the Border and the Federal Government’s Ability to Stop Them

Tunnels, catapults and submarines: find out how the CBP works to thwart the drug cartels' agendas. 2012

Street Outreach and the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model

This short monograph details past and present gang outreach programs, associated problems, and their solutions. 2012

Evaluation of School-District-Based Strategies for Reducing Youth Involvement in Gangs and Violent Crime: Final Report

A grant program to reduce youth crime and gang affiliation and increase labor market participation instituted by the Department of Labor in five metro areas was hamstrung by the rising unemployment produced by the Financial Collapse. 2011

G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training)

Began as a combined effort of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Phoenix Police Department, this program has grown into a school-based, multi-agency supported classroom curriculum used across the country. Its primary goal is to deter youth violence and gang membership.

Illinois Government Information
"Deadly Migration"

This article discusses the fact that Chicago street gangs are moving their operations to suburbs and rural areas in order to escape the intense law enforcement of Chicago police. Smaller police departments are less equipped to deal with gang-related problems; thus, the need for a national gang strategy is examined.
Illinois Issues. Vol. 30, No. 4 April 2004 pp. 14-17.

An Evaluation of the Illinois Department of Corrections' Gang-Free Environment Program

Findings from a 5-month evaluation of Taylorville Correctional Center, a gang-free prison. 1999
ILLINOIS 364.1066 GRAN 1999

An Evaluation of the Illinois State Police Gang Crime Witness Protection Program

A look at gang-related witness intimidation and the formation of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Program. 1997

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