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NCJ Number: 171587 Find in a Library
Title: Emerging Gangs: An International Trend?
Journal: Crime and Justice International  Volume:13  Issue:9  Dated:October 1997  Pages:4-5
Editor(s): S. Malinowski
Date Published: October 1997
Page Count: 2
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the prevalence and characteristics of criminal gangs worldwide.
Abstract: Today's gangs are better organized, better armed, more violent and frequently better represented in the courts than their forbearers. There are now broad ranges of gangs that are formed along lines of race, religion, ethnic identity, geographic location, and criminal specialization. Gangs exist in one form or another in virtually every developed country. Their common characteristic is apparently their willingness to use violence to achieve their ends. The more "sophisticated" gangs tend to be well-armed, structurally organized, and equipped with their own codes of behavior. On an international level, gang activity has become pronounced in both Eastern and Western Europe, is common in many South American countries, and has been the basis for tribal warfare in African countries. Throughout the world, gang activity flourishes in slums and oppressed areas of cities, but not all gang members come from an impoverished background. In Germany, for example, many involved in neo-nazi gang activity are from middle-class homes. In Colombia and Italy, second- and third- generation youth whose parents are involved in illegal activities often follow a similar path. In Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and increasingly in China, youth gangs have become significant problems, and many of the gang members eventually move into the upper levels of organized crime. Law enforcement's success in combatting gang activity has been mixed, and there are few cities in the world that can claim they have eliminated gang activity.
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
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