Thursday, April 30, 2009

McCarthy: Truancy a factor in crime - Gazette

State's attorney discusses gangs with county League of Women Voters

by Amber Parcher | Staff Writer | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy didn't go to the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County meeting Tuesday in Wheaton to talk about students skipping school, but truancy ended up dominating his conversation about gangs in the county.

While McCarthy said it's almost impossible to know the rate of crime committed by gang members, the peak time for gang members to commit crime is during the school day and just after school, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The peak recruiting age for gangs is middle school, he said.

There are about 40 known gangs and 1,600 gang members in the county, McCarthy said. While members are of a variety of ages, many potential gang members could be diverted from joining gangs by staying in school and taking part in after-school activities and mentor programs.

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