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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148091 Find in a Library
Corporate Author: Life Skills Education
United States of America

Connecticut Clearinghouse
United States of America
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Connecticut Clearinghouse
Plainville, CT 06062
Life Skills Education
Northfield, MN 55057
Sale Source: Life Skills Education
314 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This pamphlet explains the history and current nature of juvenile gangs and suggested approaches for preventing and controlling their activities and harmful impacts.
Abstract: The discussion notes that most adolescents like to get together in groups and that those who do not join groups with a positive message still need the company of their peers. Youths who are isolated from the society at large are likely to join gangs, which have largely negative outlooks and activities. In the 1940's, youth gangs began to become loyal to territory rather than just to their members. In the 1970's, adolescent gangs began using guns. In the last 10 years, drugs, especially crack cocaine, have become increasingly linked with gang activity. Current gangs have official, hard-core members and the wannabees, who are hoping to become members. Children are recruited for gang work at ages as young as 8 years. Reasons for joining may include coercion, familiarity with existing gang members, the desire for money, the need for a sense of belonging, organic problems, the desire for identity and power, to escape an unstable home life, and limited opportunities in other areas. Gangs have harmful impacts on their communities. Methods of reducing the power of gangs require a sustained commitment, neighborhood action, and funding. Among the approaches suggested are to strengthen penalties, legalize drugs, increase the police presence, and make parents liable. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. Prevention methods include family resource centers, school retention programs, job creation, youth-oriented social services, and volunteer opportunities for youth.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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