The FBI estimated in March 2008 that 10,000 gang members and associates are operating in King County and pose a "high" level of threat. According to a Seattle police report written last year, "in some areas of the city people are crippled by fear of gangs and are afraid to walk in their own neighborhood."
Peak recruitment for gang membership occurs between fifth and eighth grades.Either this is new information or I'm just naive, but the point in bold is absolutely troubling.
Primary factors that predict gang membership for teens are academic failure, low commitment to school, persistent anti-social behavior and associating with peers who engage in problem behavior.
Recent data show an increase in key predictive factors: 2,929 Seattle Public Schools students were considered truant during the 2006-07 academic year, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.