skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 159299 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and Violence: Police Departments Under Siege, Issue III: Gangs and Crime Old as Time; But Drugs Change Gang Culture
Journal: Drugs and Violence  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:(1995)  Pages:81,83,85,87,89,91
Author(s): J H Skolnick
Corporate Author: Police Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Police Foundation
Washington, DC 20036
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Interviews with more than 100 youthful drug dealers incarcerated in California prisons and more than 100 police officers gathered information about these offenders, their gangs, and their participation in drug trafficking.
Abstract: Results indicated that no inherent relationship exists between gangs and drugs and that gangs are not synonymous with drugs. Instead, the cultural or neighborhood-based gang is strongly grounded in a neighborhood identity, which may extend through generations. These gangs differ from opportunistic groups of young men calling themselves gangs or mobs, which are vertically organized primarily for the purpose of distributing drugs. This type of gang dominates the drug trade in northern California and in other parts of the United States. Such gangs, which can be considered entrepreneurial gangs, are strictly business operations and are organized primarily to engage in criminal activities. In northern California, gang associated violence is instrumental, for the purpose of controlling a drug territory or enforcing norms of loyalty to the organization. In contrast, Los Angeles drug dealers engage in both cultural and instrumental violence. After a youth is accepted into a cultural gang, participation in the drug business can facilitate upward mobility. Cultural gang control of drug dealing seems to have intensified. The ability of law enforcement to control the drug problem is limited. Society's challenge is to turn the energy and intelligence of these illegal entrepreneurs into socially constructive channels, as well as to reduce the demand for drugs.
Main Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns
Index Term(s): California; Drug law enforcement; Drug offenders; Drug Related Crime; Gang Prevention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.