What is a gang?
"Criminal gang" means a formal
or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that consists of five or
more persons who form for the purpose of committing criminal activity and who
knowingly and actively participate in a pattern of criminal gang activity.
What is a gang member?
"Criminal gang member" means an
individual who is an active member of a criminal gang.
What is considered gang activity?
"Pattern of criminal gang activity" means the
commission or attempted commission of, commission as an accessory before or
after the fact to, or solicitation or conspiracy to commit, by a criminal gang
member, while knowingly and actively participating in criminal gang activity,
four or more of the following offenses occurring within a two-year period,
provided that at least three of these offenses occurred after July 1, 2007:
(a) a violent offense as defined in Section
16-1-60 committed as a part of criminal gang activity;
(b) financial transaction card crimes as defined in Chapter 14 of Title 16
committed as a part of criminal gang activity;
(c) first degree lynching as defined in Section 16-3-210 committed as a part
of criminal gang activity;
(d) second degree lynching as defined in Section 16-3-220 committed as a part
of criminal gang activity;
(e) breaking into a motor vehicle as defined in Section 16-13-160 committed as
a part of criminal gang activity;
(f) grand larceny as defined in Section 16-13-30 committed as a part of
criminal gang activity;
(g) blackmail as defined in Section 16-17-640 committed as a part of criminal
(h) malicious injury to property as defined in Sections 16-11-510, 16-11-520,
16-11-530, and 16-11-535 committed as a part of criminal gang activity;
(i) drug offense as defined in Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375 committed as a
part of criminal gang activity;
(j) harassment, stalking, or aggravated stalking as defined in Article 17,
Chapter 3 of Title 16 committed as a part of criminal gang activity;
(k) pointing a firearm at any person as defined in Section 16-23-410 committed
as a part of criminal gang activity;
(l) discharging a firearm at or into dwellings, structures, enclosures,
vehicles, or equipment as defined in Section 16-23-440 committed as a part of
criminal gang activity;
(m) the common law offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated
nature committed as a part of criminal gang activity; or
(n) the common law offense of obstruction of justice committed as a part of
criminal gang activity.
– SC Criminal Gang Prevention Act
What is considered a Gang Related Incident?
(a) the participants
are identified as criminal gang members acting collectively to further a
criminal purpose of the criminal gang;
(b) a reliable informant identifies an incident as criminal gang activity
based upon first-hand knowledge or personal observation; or
(c) a person other than a reliable informant provides information that
identifies an incident as criminal gang activity, and it is corroborated by
What are gang membership identifiers?
Graffiti, hand signs,
verbiage, jewelry, tattoos/brands, clothing and colors were previously the
common identifiers. Presently, gang members are more covert with any
identifiers however social media, informants and other investigative
techniques has been useful resources to identify gang members.
Who joins gangs?
Gang members come from all walks of life, rich or poor membership crosses all
economic boundaries. Some gang members are school drop-outs, others excel as
a student, athletes, other. Below are some common indicators that a youth
maybe involved in gang activity.
What are the
signs of possible youth involvement??
media and or cell phone (post, pictures, videos, text, etc.)
and/or other material items from an unexplained source.
Tattoos/branding/shavings of stars, pitchforks, or unexplained symbols.
with gang members
encounters with law enforcement and/or arrested with gang members or gang
related criminal activity
nickname, does not know friends real name are refuse to call them by their
8. Fails to
attend school regularly, drop-out, decreasing grades and/or shows a
significant change in attitude…a strong disrespect for authority. (Police,
Administration, and Parents)
caps or other accessories worn distinctively to the left or the right.
10. Youth reject
the biological family in favor of new "family" of peers and older adults.
initials or symbols on paperwork/homework: Ex. Replacing B’s with C’s or
numbers for letters or inverted…also stars, pitchforks, etc.
12. Clothing with
particular colors , new sports team logos, bandannas (observe changes in
**Please do not assume that just because a child is displaying the above
listed indicators that he or she is in a gang, some gang identifiers emulate
youth trends (especially clothing) therefore, more effort needs to be put into
the investigation prior to identifying a person as a gang member.
Why do youth join
Lack of positive influence (family or other)
Lack of economic opportunities
Lack of resources / under-performing schools
Lack of self-esteem, respect or identity
Protection (bullying) / peer intimidation
Desire for excitement / machismo
Desire for prestige/power/friendship/brotherhood
Every kid wants to belong to something – good or bad
Glorification of gang lifestyle (media, music, magazines, etc.)
What can Parents do?
|Have the Right Attitude
||You play a major part in keeping gangs out
of your family's life
|The "W's" ||
Where your child is
What is your child doing
Who is with your child|
|Be Involved in your child's life ||
Show interest in your child's school work or
Work to build open, ongoing communication with
Listen without being quick to judge.
Set aside a time for positive family activities.
Monitor what your child watches and listens to,
especially TV shows, music, and movies that promote gangs or are full of
Encourage your child to spend time wisely-
studying, doing chores, or participating in sports, hobbies, art, scouts, or
Educate yourself regarding youth/gang related
trends.Familiarize yourselfwith local
youth related resources and support groups.|
|Teach Good Values and Responsibility ||
Be consistent about discipline
Hold your child accountable for his or her
Teach your child respect for others and
Establish clear limits and rules; expect your
child to follow them.|