Issues in the production and dissemination of gang statistics: An ethnographic study of a large midwestern police gang unit

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25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there has been a great deal of public debate concerning matters related to gang data, there has been little research investigating the process by which these data are collected and disseminated. This article uses a multimethodological approach to explore the issues in the production and dissemination of gang statistics in one midwestem gang unit. Unlike previous research examining gang data, the findings of this study did not reveal that the production of gang statistics was influenced, or manipulated, for the benefit of the police organization. Instead, the construction of gang statistics was influenced by serious abnormalities in internal information processing. Gang statistics were not found to be the product of the application of official definitions, or even informal definitions but rather were the product of inadequate communication within the gang unit and between the gang unit and its operating environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-516
Number of pages32
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2003

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Keywords

  • Data
  • Gang
  • Police
  • Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

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abstract = "Although there has been a great deal of public debate concerning matters related to gang data, there has been little research investigating the process by which these data are collected and disseminated. This article uses a multimethodological approach to explore the issues in the production and dissemination of gang statistics in one midwestem gang unit. Unlike previous research examining gang data, the findings of this study did not reveal that the production of gang statistics was influenced, or manipulated, for the benefit of the police organization. Instead, the construction of gang statistics was influenced by serious abnormalities in internal information processing. Gang statistics were not found to be the product of the application of official definitions, or even informal definitions but rather were the product of inadequate communication within the gang unit and between the gang unit and its operating environment.",
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