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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148168 Find in a Library
Author(s): F Mathews
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 104
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Solicitor General
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8, Canada
Publication Number: ISBN 0-662-21145-6
Sale Source: Canada Solicitor General
340 Laurier Avenue, West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study examines current youth gang/group manifestations in Metropolitan Toronto and southern Ontario, based on the perceptions of youth gang/group members and adult professionals, school officials, police, and social workers who work with youth gang/group members.
Abstract: The study was intended to be exploratory and descriptive, a record of the perceptions and experiences of youth experts who are immersed in the youth gang/group problem. A qualitative approach based on personal narratives and responses to semistructured interviews was used to allow for more richness in the data. A total of 12 youths -- 11 males and 1 female -- ranging in age from 14 to 21, were interviewed. Interviews with adult key informants involved seven police officers, seven school officials, and three social workers. Interviews were also conducted with two parents of gang/group members and two adult victims. The researchers analyzed transcripts of participant interviews to develop a conceptual model of gang/group involvement and youth gang/group crime and violence. Chapters on study findings discuss youth perceptions of gangs/groups and youth violence, how youth become involved in youth gangs/groups, youth gang/group activities, participant suggestions for responding to youth gangs/groups, and a comparison of the views of youth and adult participants. According to study participants, youth gangs/groups and youth violence are a problem in southern Ontario and increasing in incidence and violence levels. Two primary types of gang/group configurations emerged from the interviews. One is the "group of friends," whose activities range from hanging out together to minor mischief. The second is the "hard core gang," which breaks down into three subsets: political/pseudo-political/paramilitary, mixed race organized and crime-focused/delinquent, and culturally homogeneous and organized crime-focused/delinquent. The findings support an exploratory model of youth gangs/groups that has eight categories for differentiating among subsets of the two main gang/group configurations. Each of these eight categories is described. Participant recommendations focus on the activities of police forces, schools, and government. 43 references and appended interview guides
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency; Gangs; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Police; Self-report studies; Victims of Crime; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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