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Gang Murders Taking Toll on Young Males: CDC
Date:1/26/2012

er criminal activity ranged from zero to 25 percent, the agency said. In Los Angeles and Long Beach, less than 5 percent of all murders were associated with known drug trade or use. In Oakland, 12.5 percent of gang murders and 16.5 percent of non-gang murders involved drug trade/use. In Oklahoma City, 25.4 percent of gang murders and 22.8 percent of non-gang murders involved drug trade/use.

Newark was the only one of the five cities where there was a significantly higher rate of gang murders (20 percent) than non-gang murders (6 percent) that involved drug trade/use.

In Los Angeles and Oklahoma City, drive-by shootings accounted for 24 percent of gang murders.

The study is the first to compare gang-related murders with other types of murders using city-level data from CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System, the researchers said. The findings are published Jan. 26 in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

So what's to be done? According to Degutis, education and outreach with children and youth at an early age are key.

"Investing in early prevention pays off in the long run," she said. "It helps youth learn how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence and keeps them connected to their families, schools and communities, and from joining gangs in the first place."

More information

For more on efforts to help prevent youth violence, head to the CDC's STRYVE campaign.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Jan. 26, 2012


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