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NCJ Number: 220766 Find in a Library
Title: Organizational Structure of Street Gangs in Newark, New Jersey: A Network Analysis Methodology
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:Fall 2007  Pages:1-34
Author(s): Jean Marie McGloin
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 34
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study solicited specific information from law enforcement personnel experienced in addressing the gang problem in combination with appropriate analytical methods (e.g., network analysis) in order to analyze the organizational structure of street gangs in Newark, NJ.
Abstract: The findings indicated that Newark street gangs generally lacked cohesion, which favored viewing gangs as social systems of criminal entrepreneurs rather than as hierarchical, stable organized crime syndicates. The street gangs were loosely structured networks with some pockets of cohesive structure. Gang organization was found to be dynamic and fluid. It might appear disorganized yet have cohesive subgroups within the loose network, based on social interactions and common pursuits of individual gang members. When contemplating a local gang intervention strategy, it is important to identify the specific layers of group organization and individual positions within particular gangs based on the characteristics of interactions of its members. Study data came from the work of the North Jersey Gang Task Force, a collaborative project led by Rutgers University-Newark. Researchers conducted focus groups with law enforcement officials from a variety of agencies. The groups consisted of collective semistructured interviews over 1 year. In identifying existing relationships among gang members, the focus groups were asked to describe the characteristics of identified gang members and their interactions with one another, particularly in the course of criminal activities. Consistent with the New Jersey Code, a gang was defined as three or more people who are associated in fact, i.e., people who have a common group name; identifying sign, tattoos, or other indexes of association; and who have committed criminal offenses while engaged in gang-related activity. Gangs included in this analysis had clear, definable geographic territories. Biker gangs, White supremacist groups, and cults were excluded from the analysis. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 110 references
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Gang involvement in organized crime; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; New Jersey; Organization development; Organization studies; Social organization
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