Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 495–516 | Cite as

Facilitating Violence: A Comparison of Gang-Motivated, Gang-Affiliated, and Nongang Youth Homicides

  • Richard Rosenfeld
  • Timothy M. Bray
  • Arlen Egley


It is well established that gangs facilitate violent offending by members,but the mechanisms by which that facilitation occurs remain unclear. Gangsmay promote violence indirectly by facilitating members' access to riskysituations such as drug markets or directly through gang functions such asturf defense. We explore alternative modes of facilitation in a comparisonof gang-affiliated homicides (which involve gang members but do not resultfrom gang activity), gang-motivated homicides (which result from gangactivity), and nongang youth homicides in St. Louis. We find importantdifferences as well as similarities in the time trends and eventcharacteristic of the two types of gang homicide; in key respects thegang-affiliated homicides more closely resemble the nongang events. Thegang-motivated events exhibit a somewhat distinctive spatial patterning,as might be expected from their connection to turf conflicts. However, allthree homicide types are highly concentrated in racially isolated,disadvantaged neighborhoods, which remain the fundamental socialfacilitators of both gang and nongang violence.

violence youth homicide gangs facilitation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Rosenfeld
    • 1
  • Timothy M. Bray
    • 1
  • Arlen Egley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Missouri—St. LouisSt. Louis

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