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NCJ Number: 158947 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Gangs: Continuity and Change (From Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 12, P 171-275, 1990, Michael Tonry and Norval Morris, eds.)
Author(s): I A Spergel
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 105
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Youth gangs exist in many large and medium-sized cities throughout the United States and are spreading to suburban and smaller communities as well, and these gangs increasingly create problems in both correctional and school settings.
Abstract: Compared to nongang offenders, gang members are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of serious and violent offenses and engage in the sale and distribution of drugs. Ethnicity and social isolation interact with poverty and community disorganization to account for much of the gang problem. The gang is an important social institution, particularly for low-income male youth and young adults from newcomer and residual populations because it often serves social, cultural, and economic functions no longer adequately performed by the family, the school, and the labor market. The following major policy emphases for dealing with gangs have evolved: local community mobilization, youth outreach, social opportunities, and gang suppression. Improved policies should integrate and coordinate these approaches within a framework of social control and institution building. Schools, social agencies, and community groups should give first priority to juvenile and adolescent gang members and second priority to older adolescent and young adult gang members in collaboration with law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies to develop gang prevention programs. The scope and seriousness of the gang problem are discussed, and characteristics of gang members are described. Links among gang membership, drugs, and violence are examined. 245 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug abusers
Index Term(s): Drug law offenses; Economic analysis of crime; Economic influences; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Male juvenile delinquents; Minority juvenile offenders; Poverty and crime; Serious juvenile offenders; Social control; Social organization; Violent juvenile offenders
Note: DCC
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