Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. Youth Gangs in Indian Country

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC)
Description: In 2001, OJJP and NYGC developed and implemented the 2000 Survey of Youth Gangs in Indian Country. All federally recognized Indian communities were surveyed to measure the presence, size, and criminal behavior of youth gangs in Indian Country. This survey collected data regarding the presence and effect of youth gang activity in Indian Country as well as programmatic responses to the problem. The survey was mailed to tribal leaders or tribal representatives in 577 Indian communities comprising 561 federally recognized tribes.
Relevant Policy Issues: Rates of Involvement with Justice System.
Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Federally recognized Indian communities
Identification of AI/AN/NA: AI/AN/NA individuals are not identified in the data set. Instead, data are organized by Indian community. The survey defines an Indian community as persons of American Indian, Alaska Native, or Aleut heritage who reside within the limits of Indian reservations, pueblos, rancherias, villages, dependent Indian communities, or Indian allotments, and who together comprise a federally recognized tribe or community. Communities also include people who have been recognized by the United States government as a tribe or tribal community, but who do not occupy tribal trust, tribally owned, or Indian allotment lands. Communities are the people and land together or tribal community viewed as a group. Land without the people is not considered a community for the purpose of this survey. The data source does not allow identification of members of a state recognized tribe.
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: Race data on the respondents was not gathered in the survey. Communities that reported gang activity in 2000, however, were asked to estimate demographic characteristics of gang members, including race or ethnicity. Survey respondents reported that the majority (78 percent) of youth gang members in their communities were American Indian, Alaska Native, or Aleut. In fact, approximately one-half of responding communities indicated almost all gang members (more than 90 percent) were of this race.
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the study is national. Information on additional geographic indicators was not available.
Date or Frequency: This study was a one-time effort. Data were collected in 2001.
Data Collection Methodology: Mail and telephone survey
Response Rate: Overall, 52 percent (n=300) of the communities responded to the survey.
Sampling Methodology: At the time the survey was developed, there were 577 Indian communities in the United States, comprising 561 federally recognized tribes. NYGC and the advisory group chose to survey the entire Indian country population to provide a broad assessment.
Strengths: Data are collected on the key policy issue of justice system involvement. For those interested in youth gang activity, this data set is the only assessment of such activity across all Indian Country.
Limitations: The data are very difficult to obtain and the documentation available online does not include information on statistical topics such as error estimates or weighting. There is a low response rate.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: The data set, held by the NYGC, is only available on a very limited basis. It is not intended for release, but release has occurred in a few exceptional situations. There is no cost should access be granted.
Contact Information: National Youth Gang Center
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
Post Office Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317
Tel: (850) 385-0600
Fax: (850) 386-5356

 

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