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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147672 Find in a Library
Journal: Gang Journal  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:87-90
Author(s): R W Dart
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After a brief description of gangs in America from colonial times to the early 20th Century, this article profiles trends in modern street gangs from 1964 into the 1990's.
Abstract: Frederic Thrasher conducted the definitive study of street gangs and reported his findings in 1927 in "The Gang, A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago." Virtually every race and ethnic group has constributed to the street gang phenomenon and image in Chicago. It was about 1964 when modern street gangs first appeared on Chicago's streets. Sociologists suggest that the migration from southern States and movements within the city that induced instability created fertile conditions for gang activity. Individual street gangs began to posture and participate in minor extortion and robbery of "ma and pa" grocery stores along with turf posturing. In about 1969, street gangs evolved into "nation" gangs, as individual groups formalized loose alliances with other street gangs. Gangs expanded from small enclaves in the inner city to "nations" in communities and the prison systems. As gangs became involved in drug trafficking and high-powered guns were accessible, violence erupted in full- scale narcotic wars. There are signs, however, that traditional street gang rivalries are being suspended to facilitate the sale of narcotics. Modern gang leaders appear to be more interested in making money through illicit activities and establishing a power base from which to expand their operations than in maintaining a neighborhood turf identity. Metropolitan police departments are responding to this trend by liaisoning with one another to track gangs and their expanded activities. Jurisdictions with analogous gangs must cooperate in intelligence sharing and the development of coordinated enforcement strategies.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Criminology; Drug smuggling; Illinois; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Organized crime; Trend analysis
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