Each year the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice receives inquiries from concerned parents and communities on youth gang activities and teenage behavioral health issues. We hope the provided Q&A is informative.

Question: I've noticed that some kids in my neighborhood often use hand gestures to communicate. Could this be gang-related?

Answer: Yes, it could be. Individuals within a gang often use hand signs to communicate or show their association with one another. Other symptoms include tattoos, clothing, jewelry, or even hairstyles. For more information on gangs, contact your local police or sheriff’s office, which has specialized units that educate the public on gang activities.

Question: Crime is increasing in our neighborhoods because of gangs, and I would like to help. Are there any community programs available to keep kids away from teams?

Answer: Law enforcement services vary from each community, but many police and sheriff’s offices have created specialized units to educate the public on the rise in gang activities. You’ll need to contact your local law enforcement agencies to see what services are provided in your area for the child.




The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state's justice-involved youth up to 21 years of age. The Department's mission is to transform young lives by providing evidence-based rehabilitative treatment services and supervision, strengthening youth and families' wellbeing, and fostering safe communities. Visit us online at


Communications Glenn Allen