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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148485 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs Need Not Be Delinquent
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1962)  Pages:49-54
Author(s): G E Jereczek
Date Published: 1962
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After describing the development and components of a program that used peer group interaction in an effort to prevent delinquent behavior, its benefits are identified.
Abstract: Since the values and standards of an adolescent's peer group largely determine the adolescent's attitudes and behavior, this program sought to use natural group settings to guide adolescents by means of positive group values. A "natural" group of youth at risk for delinquency was selected for the program. Group members had grown up in the same neighborhood, were well acquainted with each other, and had an association based on friendship and mutual interest. The author called group members out of classes, introduced himself, and explained the possibility of the boys forming a group that would provide opportunities for fun and other activities of interest. The author informed the group that he was a probation officer but was not working with them in an official capacity but rather as a private person interested in helping them and their families in any way possible. The group first participated in highly desired activities such as swimming, gym activities, and outdoor adventures. The number of rules and limitations for the group were held to a minimum. Group discussions were a part of the program. The author sought to cultivate in the group a warm, friendly, accepting atmosphere that encouraged future program planning and the ventilation of thoughts and emotions. In addition to insight and change in attitudes, group discussion helped in the development of supportive and interdependent relationships. Involving both parents and children in the program emphasized that the entire family is responsible for problems experienced by the children. With the exception of one boy, all group members avoided contact with the courts for the program's first 2 1/2 years. The program helped prevent many of the behavioral indications of social disorganization through the use of intensive social group work. Truancy, once a serious problem, is now almost nonexistent among group members. School behavior has improved significantly. Suggestions for program improvements are offered. 4 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Family counseling; Gangs; Juvenile delinquency prevention programs; Parent education; Peer influences on behavior
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