Gangs on the Street Gangs in Prison: Their Nature Interrelationship Control and Re-Entry

Project: Research project

Description

The NIJ Working Group identified the transition between street and prison gangs, the use of advanced statistical analysis techniques, the use of secondary data to study gangs and improving the methods of measuring the effectiveness of prevention, intervention and deterrence programs as key issues. This project addresses those issues with a study that has three components. The first component involves the use of official records before, during and after release in three states (Ohio, Texas and Virginia). The second component of the study employs a pre-release survey of 800 gang and non-gang inmates in Texas in the week prior to release. The third component of the study involves the use of follow-up interviews at three points in time with those 800 inmates during their first year of release. The Texas Department of Corrections estimates that nine percent of all inmates are gang members and we will over-sample the population of identified gang members for inclusion in the second (pre-release interviews) and third (post-release interviews) components of the study and match the non-gang interview subjects to the gang subjects on key variables such as age, gender, conviction offense, prior convictions and zip code.
In addition to addressing the transition from prison to the street among gang members, we will also address institutional misconduct among gang members as well as gang and non-gang re-entry issues.
Our research is guided by five specific research questions.
1) What are the implications of street gang membership for affiliations in prison?
2) How are prison gangs, gang life and behavior different than gangs on the street?
3) What are the implications of prison gang membership for street gang membership following release from prison?
4) What are the implications of prison gang membership for recidivism and re-entry?
5) What programming approaches are likely to be more successful with gang members in prison and upon release?

We have a unique opportunity to study an important yet neglected area of gang policy and practice: the transition from prison to street (and for many back to prison). We have secured letters of cooperation from the Departments of Correction in Ohio, Texas and Virginia, have an experienced team of researchers with the range of skills necessary to complete this work, and will address the issues of policy, practice and programming that emerge from this study.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/1512/31/18

Funding

  • DOJ-OJP: National Institute of Justice (NIJ): $840,807.00

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occupational reintegration
correctional institution
interview
programming
release from prison
deterrence
working group
statistical analysis
inclusion
offense
gender