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NCJ Number: 152091 Find in a Library
Title: National Policy Neglect and Its Impact on Gang Suppression
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1994)  Pages:35-61
Author(s): J G Houston
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 27
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines whether U.S. legislators have neglected the threat of street gangs and identifies why Federal policy has generally failed to counter the increasing threat of street gangs; it suggests legislative strategies.
Abstract: Street gangs constitute an endemic problem that has its roots in the inner city and is the result of technological change, social processes, and social neglect. The primary reasons youths join gangs are for protection, to enhance self-esteem, to satisfy the need to belong, and to obtain income. The U.S. Congress has not ignored the problem of gangs and crime, but its legislative actions have been misplaced. It has focused on repressive measures and ignored measures designed to remedy the causes of street gangs. Congress has ignored systemic issues that have given rise to gangs and the conditions that have nurtured the hopelessness and sense of despair that are at the root of gang membership. In receiving input for the crafting of legislation to counter street gangs, Congress has tended to limit it to criminal justice sources. Comprehensive and effective legislation requires input from economists, criminologists, sociologists, and social workers. Representatives of business, industry, and organized labor should also provide input regarding employment problems among youth. The author recommends a three- pronged strategy that focuses on law enforcement, the enhancement of economic opportunity for youth, and the development and expansion of treatment programs for gang youth. 3 notes and 31 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Legislation; Legislative impact
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