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Information about Santa Cruz County Gangs

Concerned about your child or student's possible gang involvement? Learn about local gangs, how they operate, and what to look for. Find resources for helping your child or student to choose a more positive path.

Gang Members

Why Do Youth Join Gangs?

Did You Know...

Santa Cruz County ranks 10th in youth homicide rates for the state of California.

Since 2011 there have been a total of 13 youth killed in Santa Cruz County.

Joey Mendoza memorial

Jesse Lopez memorial

Recent Events

Santa Cruz Youth City Council Recognizes BASTA

BASTA Certificate of Appreciation On October 23,2013 the Santa Cruz Youth City Council awarded BASTA with a Certificate of Appreciation for “providing outstanding youth programs and teen volunteer opportunities for youth in Santa Cruz.” BASTA representatives gave a short overview of the North County BASTA programs, including intervention groups, scholarships to extra-curricular activities, tutoring and counseling, the BASTA Summer Sports Camp, the BASTA website and Gang Awareness Trainings for Parents and Educators.

The average age of a gang member is between 12-21 but can be even younger.

Drawing by 3rd grader of gang shooting

This drawing, by a 3rd grader in Santa Cruz, depicts a drive-by shooting.

Parents, How to Help Your Kids Stay Safe

Teachers, How to Talk to Your Students

Youth Zone

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