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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165263 Find in a Library
Title: Gangs
Author(s): G B Stewart
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 96
Sponsoring Agency: Lucent Books, Inc
San Diego, CA 92198-9011
Publication Number: ISBN 1-56006-340-8
Sale Source: Lucent Books, Inc
Marketing Manager
P.O. Box 289011
San Diego, CA 92198-9011
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After an introductory section on the evolution and current nature of gangs and gang violence, this book profiles five gang members from different gangs, using the gang members' own statements.
Abstract: An overview of the evolution of gangs notes that gangs have been a part of America's cities since the 19th century. What makes current American gangs different from their predecessors is their increased use of violence for trivial reasons and the high- powered weaponry they use. The violence is due partly to the involvement of gangs in drug trafficking, but so much of gang violence stems from trivial disputes among members in the same gang and between rival gangs. Juveniles join gangs for a number of reasons, including money, prestige, belonging, and security. Three gang members and a youth at risk for joining a gang give some insight into the meaning of gang membership and what it is like to be in a gang. Tajan, a 16-year-old member of the Gangster Disciples, says he was a good student and a talented athlete before he got involved with gangs. He believes the public has the wrong perception of gangs, however, and says that the purpose of gangs is to protect the neighborhood, not to commit random violence. As an emigrant from El Salvador, 16-year-old Edwin has witnessed violence in his native country and also with his gang friends in the United States. Despite the death of one of his close friends due to gang violence, Edwin is contemplating joining a gang. As a 20-year-old single mother, Kim is not as involved with the Vice Lords as she was as a young teen, but she remains loyal to the gang and expects her child to join a gang in the future. Blinded after being shot by another Crip gang member, Dewayne still has strong memories of the day he was shot. He is no longer active in a gang and warns his younger brothers against joining. A 7-item bibliography and a subject index
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Juvenile offenders; Offender profiles
Note: From The Other America Series
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