Check out important information, risks and treatment resources to gang involvement.


Did You Know?

According to the most recent Healthy Youth Survey (2018) 7% of students in 8th grade reported they were a gang member in the past 12 months.

Get the FAQs

Is my child at risk for gang involvement?

Despite the best efforts of parents, many kids are recruited by gangs. You should know that children who have school difficulties or a lack of parental supervision can be most prone to joining one. Furthermore, young people aged 12-14 years old and those with substance abuse problems are also very susceptible to recruitment attempts at this age group is typically more likely targeted by gang recruiters than younger ones because they're less cautious about what's happening around them - whether it comes from family members or strangers in their neighborhood.

Why do kids join gangs?

Adolescence is a time in life when children begin to define their own identity. Many seek out new peer groups as a means of gaining acceptance, which can lead them down the wrong path with gangs who provide many things for free that they may not find anywhere else. By making sure all your child's needs are met elsewhere you will be able to prevent gang involvement and live without worry about what could happen if your kid gets caught up with the wrong crowd.

Behaviors associated with gang involvement:

Your kid may be in a gang if they start to change their behavior. Watch out for these signs:
  • Withdrawing from family and being absent at home
  • Increasing truancy or school discipline
  • Declining grades, staying up late without reasons, keeping secrets
  • Confrontational behaviors including disrespect of authority figures like parents and teachers

What can a parent do?

The number one thing a parent can do is to be involved with your child.

Spend time with your child and show an interest in them. Care about their schoolwork and their extracurricular activities
LOOK in your child room - it is okay to be nosy if you're concerned about them.
KNOW your child's friends and meet the parents/guardians of your child's friends.
Set Firm Limits and lovingly enforce them.
Eat meals together.
Plan family time - make time to play together and keep family traditions.
Take a parenting class - children don't come with instructions; be open to learning other ways of parenting and not just repeating how you were parented (or maybe not parented).
Be what you want your child to be - if you want respect and love, give it.

Every year, Sunnyside United-Unidos adds additional questions to the annual community survey in order to see what residents in Sunnyside see as a concern.

SUU - Gang Results

Things to Consider:
- When we describe these results, we typically categorize something as a “Serious Problem” when agree and
strongly agree exceed 50% combined.
- Due to low response rates and the data not being entirely representative, we want to avoid any staunch claims.

For reference, here is how these results were described to our coalition:

SUU - Snapshot Gang Involvement

Drug & Alcohol Treatment

in and around Sunnyside, Washington

If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse, please contact one of the following organizations.

Sundown M Ranch

2280 WA-821
Yakima, WA 98901
(800) 326-7444

Central Washington Comprehensive MH Sunnyside Center

1319 Saul Road
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 575-4084

Merit Resource Services

702 Franklin Ave
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 837-7700