Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Ines M. Miyares

Second Advisor

Douglas A. Williamson

Academic Program Adviser

Jochen Albrecht


The purpose of this study is to understand gang culture and how gangs come to define their territorial space. This thesis will focus on identifying gang spaces by utilizing geographic techniques to aid in determining where high gang activity and/or crime is taking place. This will be done by point pattern, data analysis, visualization analysis, and heat mapping on complaints, arrest, shooting, and graffiti data. This research has been conducted deductively, as it will use the theories mentioned in the literature review to define hypotheses.

Gangs are known for their violent and disruptive behavior. They ravage community resources and introduce all kind of crimes. Additionally, gangs have implemented their recruiting in school settings. This creates unsafe learning environments and is negatively impacting young lives as they are lured by gang culture, which leads to violence and crime. The significance of this research is the potential application(s) of doing crime analysis using Geographical Information Systems/Science. There are numerous agencies who are involved in the study, understanding, and mitigation of gangs. Inspecting gang culture and excavating crime data in a study area can help us understand the crime dynamics in these gang spaces. The study of the geography of gang space can help to further understand how to help the community and how law enforcement can tackle the issues at hand.



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