Gang Awareness

Four Major Reasons Why Kids Join Gangs

  1. Identity or Recognition-Being a part of a gang allows the members to achieve a level of status they feel they cannot achieve outside of the gang's culture.
  2. Protection-Kids join the gang because they live in a gang area and are subject to violence by rival gangs. Kids join in an attempt to obtain safety from the violence.
  3. Fellowship and Brotherhood-The gang functions as an extension of, or substitute for the family, and may provide companionship lacking in the home environment.
  4. Intimidation-Some members are forced into joining by peer groups. Intimidation techniques range from extorting lunch money to physical assault.

What is the description of a gang member?

  • Usually male.
  • School dropout or truant; poor student who does not like school and who does not adapt well to school.
  • In trouble with law enforcement.
  • Does not receive adequate family attention.
  • Victim of abuse or neglect, and/or parental brutality.
  • Economically and/or socially deprived.
  • Negative role models.
  • Very street wise.
  • Antisocial, aggressive, and hostile.

A Parents' Guide

Definition of a Gang

Youth and street gang (according to F.S 874.03) means a formal or informal association of three or more persons who have a common name or identifying signs, colors, or symbols, who individually or collectively engage in a pattern of criminal activity involving felony crimes and violent misdemeanor offenses.

This parental guide has been compiled by North Miami Beach Police Department's Gang Unit to assist parents who feel their child may be affected by gangs or their activities.

Contact Us

For more information, please call the North Miami Beach Police Department's Gang Unit at 305-948-2940.