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Possible Signs of Gang Involvement

It's not just a police problem; it's a community problem.

Changes in behavior and dress can be a normal part of adolescence or an indication of inappropriate identification and association. Know the difference by being an involved parent.

The following can be signs of possible gang involvement:

Physical Signs:

  • Peer-conforming dress
  • Extreme hair styles
  • Tattoos
  • Use or overuse of make-up

Behavioral Signs:

  • Poor school and/or work attendance
  • No participation in family activities or withdrawal
  • Use of slang vocabulary
  • Associating with undesirable people
  • Staying out later than usual
  • Desiring too much privacy
  • Starting to drink or use drugs
  • Receiving money or articles without parental permission or awareness
  • Unusual moods or patterns of behavior

Non-Verbal Communication Signs:

  • Seemingly meaningless or highly stylized graffiti
  • Graffiti writing on notebooks, books, or papers
  • Using hand signals


Parental, neighborhood, and law enforcement involvement is the only way gang activity will be curbed.

Remember, this is your school community--not the gangs'!

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