City Desk

Survey: D.C. Youths In Gangs Aren’t Actually Committing That Many Crimes

And more on violent crime dropping: An Urban Institute report from last November notes that in a survey of 161 D.C. youths age 14-21, nearly 17 percent identified themselves as being in a crew or a gang. But only 6.8 percent reporting having ever sold drugs, 6.2 percent stole goods over $100, 4.3 percent carried a gun, and 10.6 percent had ever attacked another person.

In short, a significant number of kids are in gangs—but a small percentage of them are actually committing serious or violent crimes.

The study goes on to examine these kids' social networks to find out whether the old adage about "the company you keep" is true. Unsurprisingly, it found that a few "central actors" were committing most crimes—and contributing to delinquency in others.

Photo by Darrow montgomery

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