The Impact of Gangs on Community Life in Trinidad

Ericka B. Adams, Patrice K. Morris, Edward Maguire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Trinidad and Tobago has more than 100 criminal gangs, some of which engage in high levels of homicide and violence. Recent research has shown that gang members in Trinidad and Tobago are more likely than nongang members to be arrested for violent, property, and drug crimes. As gangs continue to proliferate throughout the Caribbean, there is a pressing need to understand the nature of these gangs and their impact on the communities in which they are entrenched. Using data from interviews with community members, police officials, and gang members, as well as ethnographic observations from 10 high crime, predominantly Black communities in the Port of Spain area, this article investigates the impact of gang violence and the role of gangs in these urban communities. Our findings reveal the dominant nature of certain gangs and their formidable role in controlling turf and using violence to retaliate and intimidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-566
Number of pages24
JournalRace and Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Caribbean
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • crime
  • drug dealing
  • drugs
  • gang violence
  • gangs
  • race/ethnicity
  • street crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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