There are many different types of gangs i.e., racial gangs, prison gangs, motorcycle gangs, small geographical gangs, etc. Typically there maybe numerous types of different gangs throughout any community. However we will discuss gangs that are prevalent in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area.
Some of these gangs stem from prison gangs that have returned to the streets and neighborhoods where they originally started. These gangs have different religious beliefs and/or code of honor, manifestos and/or mission statements. Because of the differences and alliances to their perspective gangs, the members show their affiliation by dress, writings, tattoos, graffiti, etc. These types of behavior are known as the LEFT & RIGHT rule. By dressing, writing, tattoos, etc., the member shows his or her alliance to the gang and shows rival gangs his or her gang designation.
In order to identify potential gang members, you first must understand some basic information about gangs. Gangs will not discriminate between age, sex, or nationality. There are two main alliances that gangs will usually identify with. These are known as “PEOPLE” and “FOLKS”.
The “PEOPLE” gangs wear their identifiers to the LEFT side of the body. This would include, but is not limited to, hats, jewelry, or a rolled-up left pant leg. “PEOPLE” also represent their affiliation with the number 5 and/or the 5-pointed star. In their drawings, a 5-pointed crown, pyramid, top hat, crescent moon, or a rabbit head with straight ears may be seen. An upside down pitchfork is used to show disrespect to the rival “FOLKS” affiliation.
The “FOLKS” gangs wear their identifiers to the RIGHT side of the body. This includes, but is not limited to, hats, jewelry, or a rolled-up right pant leg. They represent their affiliation with the number 6 and/or the 6-pointed Star of David. Their drawings may consist of an upward pitchfork, a winged heart or a rabbit head with one bent ear and they will draw an upside down 5 or crown to show disrespect to the rival “PEOPLE” gangs.
A few street gangs belong to neither the “FOLKS” nor the “PEOPLE”. These independent gangs feel they do not need other gang alliances or simply want to form their own affiliation. These groups are often made up of members of several different gangs and refer to themselves as “Party Crews”.
Gangs will change as necessary in order to survive. In recent years, gangs have shifted to money-making crimes. More and more gangs are competing in the illegal markets of drug and gun sales. Many are found to be involved in robberies, burglaries, car theft rings, and car jacking. Members of the “PEOPLE” faction and members of the “FOLKS” faction usually will not join forces but an exception may be made if there is an opportunity for outstanding profits. Essentially, the general rule on the street is “if it doesn’t make dollar (money), it doesn’t make sense.”