Juvenile Justice Q&A

May 18—The Department of Juvenile Justice provides a regular question-and-answer column for Georgians who may have questions about the system:

Question: I am confused about all the car break-ins and home burglaries in my community. Could these crimes be a form of gang activity?

Answer: Criminal street gangs often commit crimes, including entering automobiles and burglary. If you witness a crime or suspect gang activity within your community, call your local police department. Additionally, you can contact Crime Stoppers, a national organization with a network of local programs working together to prevent and solve crimes in communities. You can reach Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Question: I’ve noticed that when my son is with his friends, they sometimes use hand gestures to communicate. Could he be affiliated with a gang?

Answer: Yes, gangs often use hand signs to communicate or show their association. Other signs of gang membership include many different identifiers, including names, symbols, tattoos, graffiti or clothing. The National Gang Center offers a “Parents’ Guide to Gangs” with answers to common questions about gangs to enable you to recognize and prevent gang involvement. Visit them at www.nationalgangcenter.ojp.gov.

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