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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148533 Find in a Library
Title: Children in Gangs
Journal: Unesco Courier  Volume:44  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1991)  Pages:19-21
Author(s): C Rogers
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 3
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Youth gangs have been a recurring social problem in American cities since the late 19th century; even today, their activities can often be traced to the difficulties of assimilation of immigrant populations.
Abstract: Many sources explain the recent dynamic growth in American youth gangs as an outgrowth of the increased sale of cocaine, including its potent derivative, crack. Gangs are exploiting U.S. drug laws, which have much more lenient sanctions for youthful, than for adult, offenders. Adult criminals have become adept at recruiting youngsters into the drug trafficking trade. As a result, the median age of juvenile gang members is falling and children are assuming more difficult and dangerous roles, reporting on police activity in their neighborhood, carrying weapons to gang members, and even selling drugs themselves. Gang membership usually leads to truancy, dropping out, and an adult criminal lifestyle. Most gang members live in poor inner-city neighborhoods, where unemployment is high, many families are headed by single mothers, the public school system is inadequate, and opportunities for legitimate business are limited. To date, the overall public policy approach has focused on suppressing drug use and drug trafficking, suppressing youth gangs, and preventing youth involvement in gangs.
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Drug law offenses; Gang Prevention; Gangs; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
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