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Signs of Gang Involvement

Parents, educators, and other concerned adults should watch for signs of gang involvement. Changes in a child’s behavior or activities, which may be early warning signs of gang involvement, include:

  • change in types of friends
  • changes in dress habits, such as wearing the same color combination all the time (note: that style changes quickly and just because a child wears a certain type of clothing does not mean he or she is in a gang)
  • displaying gang symbols on books, clothing, or locker
  • wearing tattoos
  • carrying extra cash from unknown sources
  • carrying a weapon
  • losing interest in school and family
  • getting arrested or detained by police
  • becoming truant
  • using alcohol and other drugs
  • talking in gang-style language
  • using hand signals to communicate with others.