Posted: 7/03/24

TAMIU Doctoral Student, Professor Present Border Gang Research at Eurogang Conference



Carlos Alvarez, a doctoral student of Criminal Justice at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), and Dr. Daniel Scott, TAMIU associate professor of Criminal Justice and Co-Director of its Criminal Justice Program, recently presented their research on border gang issues at the prestigious Eurogang Conference, held at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Held from June 3-6, the Conference drew nearly 50 researchers from various countries including the United States, México, Canada, Jamaica, The Netherlands, Norway, England, France and Sweden.

The study, titled  "Texas-México Border Street Gangs: A Police Qualitative Study Using Official Gang Data," utilizes Zapata County police incident report data to provide valuable insight into the intricate dynamics of organized crime along the Texas-México border. The qualitative study relies on 96 investigative report data to observe gang-related and non-gang related incidents.

Its findings reveal that compared to non-gang instances, gang cases had higher rates of drug criminality and were in more populated areas. Also, neighborhood gang incidents involved dealing from residences in more populated areas. In addition, criminal street gang or organized crime occurrences were primarily detected through traffic stops and generally outside of populated areas. The findings highlight a public health and safety issue related to gang and cartel dynamics in underserved areas along the border that needs to be better understood.

Carlos Alvarez

Carlos Alvarez

Dr. Daniel Scott

Dr. Daniel Scott

Dr. Scott said the research was presented to top scholars in the field representing prestigious programs in the nation and the world.

"Since TAMIU's doctoral program in Criminal Justice is new, this allowed us to share the important research we are doing on the border, and also show the quality of work that our doctoral students are producing," he said, "There were also networking opportunities that have the potential to lead to future research projects."

In addition to presenting their research, Alvarez  engaged with faculty and students from other leading institutions such as University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Temple University, Michigan State University, and Cambridge University. These interactions provide the potential for future research collaborations, further extending the influence and scope of their work, Scott said.

The Eurogang Network, which organizes the Conference, seeks to develop a multi-method, multi-national research program that allows for a comparative examination of the emerging social issue associated with gangs. The Network hopes that the information base and research conducted will assist in informing prevention and intervention strategies to lessen the detrimental effects of these increasingly violent and socially marginalized youth groups. Its meetings represent a collaborative and comprehensive strategy to develop a better understanding of the diversity of gangs.

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