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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157982 Find in a Library
Title: Gangsta in the House: Understanding Gang Culture
Author(s): M Knox
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 197
Sponsoring Agency: Momentum Books, Ltd
Troy, MI 48098
Publication Number: ISBN 1-879094-46-0
Sale Source: Momentum Books, Ltd
6964 Crooks Road
Suite 1
Troy, MI 48098
United States of America
Type: Citizen Involvement Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book identifies the factors that attract juveniles to gangs and discusses the forms and dynamics of gang behaviors, followed by suggestions for preventing and responding to gangs.
Abstract: In discussing why juveniles join gangs, the author, a 15- year veteran of the Houston Police Department and a gang specialist, advises that they are seeking to meet the emotional needs that all humans have. Positive social development occurs as children are loved and protected in a family environment that sets and enforces rules for constructive behavior that builds self-esteem. Juveniles attracted to gangs lack such a home environment, and so they seek significant identity, protection, and acceptance in a gang whose members seek to build their identity through displays of power and prestige often manifested through violent and controlling behavior. Significant identity is crucial to gangs and gang members, so gang identity is broadcast to the public and other gangs through the types and colors of clothing worn, through graffiti, and through intimidating behavior. This book presents separate chapters on gang symbols, dress, and graffiti. Following a profile of gang life and behavior, the book suggests ways in which families, the community, the school, and the criminal justice system can counter gangs and gang behavior. The focus is upon the development of a community structure that will not tolerate gang behavior and which sets and enforces standards of positive behavior. Suggestions are offered for how such a structure can be built through criminal justice system policy, school policy, and family life, although the author acknowledges that the families of gang members are unlikely to cooperate in any reform efforts.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents; Gang Prevention; Graffiti; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
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