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Juvenile Court Service Unit
Signs of Gang Involvement

Gangs are being addressed through a regional strategy of enforcement, education, prevention and intervention. The Gang Response Intervention Team (G.R.I.T.) is a dedicated group of concerned public and private citizens who want to bring a coordinated response to this challenging issue. The G.R.I.T. Coordinator is available to answer questions or to provide information on resources you might need to help address a gang issue.

Some Risk Factors Leading to Gang Involvement

  • Those not sufficiently connected to family, school, church, community
  • Those who resort to violence in order to resolve differences with others
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of positive role models
  • Those hanging out with delinquent peers

Although gangs are not a problem that is overwhelming our community, gang participation by some youth is an issue that we must confront. One of the first steps in dealing with gangs is to raise community awareness of the signs of gang involvement.

Signs of Gang Participation

  • Common dress styles or colors of clothes within a group of friends
  • Common tattoos within a group of friends
  • Graffiti or artwork on school books, clothes and personal property, and numbers in conjunction with letters, stars, crowns • Referring to a peer group as “family”
  • Starts referring to self or friends by nicknames
  • Comes home with unexplained injuries or with unexplained source of money or possessions
  • Refusal to wear certain colors
  • Use of handsigns
  • Use of videos, video games, websites that promote the gang lifestyle


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