There are groups that live completely different lives than most of us will ever know. In Chicago, those groups are gangs and new maps show how many are in the Windy City and where the streets are that they rule.

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If you're like me, you do everything you can to be where gangs aren't. That's not easy to do in Chicago as the city is practically canvased by numerous gangs in almost every area.

I found two helpful maps that show gang boundaries and names. The first is the latest map shared by the Chicago Police Department's Gang Unit.

Infographic, Chicago Police Department
Infographic, Chicago Police Department

There's also an interactive Google Map that might be easier for you to read depending on what type of device you're on.

Wikipedia lists dozens of different gang factions that you'll find in Chicago with an almost unlimited number of sub-groups. Crews, Nations, Families, Crips, Bloods, Norteños, Sureños and that's barely scratching the surface.

What can Chicago do to offset gang violence? has interesting story about City of Chicago’s Youth Violence Prevention Plan. It details what they term "gang intervention" with these details:

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is currently running gang interventions modeled on the Boston “Operation Ceasefire” Model in four districts. In this intervention, law enforcement, service providers, and community figures deliver a unified message to gang members to stop the violence or face a targeted and unified response from the Chicago Police Department and its Federal partners.

There are summer programs for when kids are out of schools and what they call "safe passage" which are pre-defined safe routes to and from school.

I have friends that I worked with on the west coast that were quite literally born into gangs then managed to survive and eventually escape. Let's hope and pray the gangs can be convinced to avoid violence to find a positive way forward for all involved.

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Gallery Credit: decayingmidwest via YouTube

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