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Managing prison gangs: Results from a survey of U.S. prison systems


  • Winterdyk, John
  • Ruddell, Rick


Responses from a survey of gang management strategies were collected from U.S. prison systems holding 1.19 million inmates. The results provided insight into the prevalence of gang members in prisons, gang structure, as well as the strategies used to manage the threat that these groups pose. Officials from most prison systems reported an increase in the proportion of security threat group (STG) members over the past five years and that these offenders were more disruptive and sophisticated than five years ago. Despite these challenges, there was no one clear strategy for the investigation or suppression of these groups, nor did most systems evaluate the effectiveness of their current gang management interventions. A lack of rehabilitative opportunities for gang members represents one shortcoming in the range of gang management strategies in most jurisdictions. The implications of these findings are addressed.

Suggested Citation

  • Winterdyk, John & Ruddell, Rick, 2010. "Managing prison gangs: Results from a survey of U.S. prison systems," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 730-736, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:4:p:730-736

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