Effects of outlaw motorcycle gang membership and the support needs of former members

Photo of motorbike gang

Drawing on interviews with 39 former members of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs), we identify consequences associated with leaving the club and the effects of membership experienced before and after leaving. This evidence is important in helping to inform efforts to promote and facilitate disengagement from clubs.

While some members experienced adverse consequences from leaving the club, less hostile separations were not uncommon. Poor mental health, the breakdown of relationships with family and friends outside the club, and problems finding employment post-disengagement were common effects described by former members. Therapeutic interventions, access to stable employment, and the availability of peer and family support networks were common themes in the transition away from clubs. But, importantly, experiences of former members varied, highlighting the need for a flexible response.