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NCJ Number: 212480 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs in the Law: A Content Analysis of Statutory Definitions for the Term "Gang"
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:Fall 2005  Pages:1-16
Author(s): D. Lee Gilbertson Ph.D.; Seth J. Malinski
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the statutory definitions for “gang” as found within present-day State laws of the United States.
Abstract: It is generally argued, by researchers, politicians, and law enforcement and corrections officers that there is no single, standardized definition for the term “gang.” This descriptive study explored the statutory definitions for “gang” as found within present-day State laws of the United States. It identified words and clauses that could be used in constructing a standardized definition. After conducting a literature review, concepts and variables of interest were established. The target population for the study was the laws of the 50 states. Only, 36 states were found to present a definition for “gang.” Four research questions were addressed in the study and included: (1) are definitions truly that disparate; (2) what commonalities can be identified; (3) can a standardized definition for the term “gang” be composed; and (4) how might a standardized “gang” definition be worded? At the close of the study, a possible generalized definition is provided. References and appendix
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Gang involvement in organized crime; Gang member attitudes; Gang violence
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