Differences in Fear Among Gang, Ex-gang and Non-gang Members

Jodi Lane
Professor of Criminology and Law, University of Florida

Key Findings

  • Gang members, ex-gang members and non-gang members generally are more afraid of personal crime than property or gang crime.
  • Non-gang and ex-gang members are significantly more afraid of property crime compared with current gang members.
  • Current gang members reported less fear of both property and gang crime, but not less fear of personal crime.
  • Personal crime experiences predicted fear of personal and gang crime for non-gang members.
  • Perceptions of social grouping better explain fear among non-gang members than ex-gang and current gang members.


In the study, “Fear of Crime among Gang and Non-Gang Offenders: Comparing the Effects of Perpetration, Victimization, and Neighborhood Factors,” Lane collected data from more than 2,400 inmates to determine how fearful they were of crime to find differences in current gang members, ex-gang members and non-gang members. The data showed that offenders are less fearful of crime, but the amounts of fear differ between groups of offenders (gang, ex-gang and non-gang members). One finding showed that the offender’s perception of crime did not affect their fear of crime. This was seen with ex-gang members, who believed they were targets of gang violence but felt less fear than the non-gang members.

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