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The New Face Of Street Gangs: The Gang Phenomenon In El Salvador


Cruz et al. (2017)


The study tries to understand under what conditions gang members are able to leave a gang. The authors carry out a survey of 1196 former gang members and of currently incarcerated gang members as well as 32 interviews.


This is a descriptive study based on survey data asking whether education, history of crime, religion, and family and friends influenced their decision and ability to leave a gang.


The survey reveals that:

1) Leaving a gang is possible, but that, at least for those who were surveyed and who were able to exit the gang, depends on: a) the individual's active commitment to abandon the gang; and b) the tacit or explicit consent of the leaders of the gang. 2) In addition, the presence of religious organizations and the availability of job opportunities seem to facilitate an exit from a gang.


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