skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 249704 Find in a Library
Title: Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Gang Prevention
Series: OJJDP Model Programs Guide Literature Reviews
Corporate Author: Development Services Group, Inc.
United States of America
Date Published: April 2014
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Development Services Group, Inc.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2013-JF-FX-K002
Sale Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Literature Review; Program/Project Description; Program/Project Evaluation; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a literature review, this paper discusses the target population for gang prevention programs, the lack of a standard definition of the term “gang,” the nature of criminal gang activity, the theoretical foundation for gang prevention programs, types of gang prevention and intervention programs, and outcome evidence from evaluations of such programs.
Abstract: Self-report studies are consistent in finding that the peak age range for gang membership is approximately 14-15 years old (Huff, 1998). Although female gang membership may be increasing, virtually all studies have found that males join gangs at higher rates. Although the research literature on gangs has increased substantially over the past decades, a standard definition of “gang” has not received consensus among researchers. The variety of features that can be incorporated in defining gangs are discussed. Regarding gang activity, there is sufficient evidence that gang members tend to commit a disproportionate number of criminal offenses compared to non-gang persons. The research shows, however, that gang members do not necessarily specialize in violence. Their criminal behavior spans various types of offenses. The most important questions to be answered in designing gang prevention and intervention programs is why individuals join gangs and why they desist from gang activities. These issues are discussed. As youth seek both independence from parents and acceptance from their peers, gangs provide a sense of belonging among peers and freedom from the parental constraints of childhood. Gang prevention and intervention programs can be grouped into three categories: prevention (persuade youth not to join gangs), intervention (enable gang members to dissociate from gangs), and suppression (apply law enforcement measures effectively). Strategies of prevention ad intervention programs are discussed. A review of evaluations of such programs indicates that suppression has been the dominant response to gangs; however, it is the least effective in countering gang membership and gang criminal activities. Web links are provided for eight gang prevention and intervention programs that have produced some positive impacts on gang issues. 36 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Children at risk; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Evidence-Based Practices; Evidence-Based Programs; Evidence-Based Research; Gang Crime; Gang Prevention; Gang violence; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; OJJDP grant-related documents; OJJDP Resources; Risk and Protective Factors; Services effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.