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NCJ Number: 222633 Find in a Library
Title: Boulevard Ain't Safe for Your Kids...: Youth Gang Membership and Violent Victimization
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:125-136
Author(s): Terrance J. Taylor
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined little research on youth gang membership and violent victimization.
Abstract: Findings suggest that violent victimization is intertwined with gang membership before, during, and after youths are gang-involved. Youths’ victimization experiences can increase the likelihood of their joining gangs. For example, girl gang members frequently reported that they became affiliated with gangs to escape other types of abuse, such as those which occur in within the family. Therefore, programs to reduce childhood abuse and family violence are likely to be critical for preventing adolescent victimization and gang membership because such efforts will reduce the motivations that girls have for joining gangs. Few studies have examined whether the same is true for male gang members, although youths of both sexes often report joining gangs for protection. Regardless of the initial source of the threat, sources of protection other than gangs are needed to reduce victimization in the lives of these youth. Once in a gang, youths appear to be at increased risk of violent victimization, relative to their nongang peers. Although victimization preceding gang membership often comes from sources outside the gang, other gang members are often the ones inflicting the victimization once youths become involved with gangs. Violence involving group conflict is especially dangerous, and interventions designed to break cycles of retaliatory violence on the streets are notoriously difficult to design. Although some youths are killed before getting out of gangs, gang membership appears to be a transitory state from which youths can successfully transition out with well-timed interventions. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile social adjustment; Victimization risk; Victims of gangs; Victims of juvenile crime; Victims of violent crime
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