SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 90
May 23, 1997
||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
||Report of the Virginia State Crime Commission and the Virginia Commission
on Youth, "The Study of Youth Gangs in Virginia" (House Document No. 30, 1997
The Superintendents-Judges Liaison Committee received a report on "The Study of Youth Gangs in Virginia" at their April 23, 1997, meeting at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents Conference. This study was conducted in response to a request by the 1996 General Assembly. The superintendents unanimously recommended that each superintendent receive a copy of the report as the information gathered about youths involved in gangs is important to all superintendents. The study, which involved statewide data collection from law enforcement and the juvenile courts, found approximately 260 youth gangs in 32 localities -- a 220% increase in the number of localities. The report identifies localities with youth gangs/groups, demographic information about gang members, characteristics of gangs and criminal gang activities. Many of the findings offer pertinent information about the youths' education. For example: 27% of gang/group members identified in secure detention centers had dropped out of school or were expelled; 60% of gang/group members identified at juvenile correctional centers were in need of special education services. Kim Echelberger, Analyst with the Virginia Commission on Youth, can provide further demographic information on the gangs/groups from specific localities. Ms. Echelberger can be contacted at (804)371-2481. Additional copies of the report can be obtained by contacting the General Assembly Bill Room (804/786-6984) or from the Department of Education's School Safety Resource Center. Marsha Hubbard, School Safety Specialist, (804/225-2928) can be contacted for further information about school safety and violence prevention. For further information regarding the Superintendents-Judges Liaison Committee, please contact Dr. Lissa Power-deFur at the Department of Education (804/225-2818). RTL:oml Enclosure: A hard copy of this memo and its enclosure will be sent to the superintendent's office.