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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50055 Find in a Library
Title: NEIGHBORHOOD NONSENSE - 'THE STREET WAR' (FROM TERRORISTS - YOUTH, BIKER AND PRISON VIOLENCE, 1978, BY JAMES R DAVIS - SEE NCJ-50053)
Author(s): J R DAVIS
Corporate Author: Grossmont Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Grossmont Press
San Diego, CA 92110
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE INTERNAL ORGANIZATION AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OF STREET YOUTH GANGS ARE DESCRIBED, AND SUGGESTIONS ARE MADE FOR ELIMINATING THEIR CRIME AND VIOLENCE.
Abstract: AS A RESULT OF THE LOW PROFILE COMMUNITY RELATIONS PROGRAMS OF SO MANY METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THE INDIFFERENCE OF JUDGES AND PROBATION OFFICERS, STREET GANGS ARE INCREASING. THE MISCONCEPTION THAT STREET GANGS ARE PLAY GROUPS HAS LEAD TO THE UNDERESTIMATION OF THE EXTENT OF STREET GANG CRIME BY THE MEDIA AND ITS DISMISSAL BY POLICE OFFICIALS. MOST YOUTH GANGS CONSIST OF LESS THAN 20 MEMBERS. THEY SPEND MUCH OF THEIR TIME INTIMIDATING MERCHANTS TO PAY THEM MONEY FOR PROTECTION AND EXTORTING MONEY FROM CHILDREN. THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS WERE MADE BY THE GANG ACTIVITY SECTION OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: (1) GANG ORGANIZATION RESULTS FROM FEAR OR PEER PRESSURE; (2) GANG MEMBERS ARE USUALLY MALES AND RANGE IN AGE FROM 8 TO 20 YEARS; (3) GANG HIERARCHY IS DETERMINED BY THE AGE AND EXPERIENCE (OFTEN INDICATED BY THE NUMBER OF MURDERS, RAPES, AND THEFTS THEY HAVE COMMITTED) OF GANG MEMBERS; AND (4) GANG ETHNICITY, WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND URBAN CROWDING SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN THE MODALITIES AND MOTIVATIONS OF GANGS ARE EXAMINED. A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER NUMBER OF ACTIVE FEMALE GANG MEMBERS WAS FOUND ON THE WEST COAST THAN WERE FOUND ON THE EAST COAST. MOST GANG MEMBERS LIVE IN GHETTOS AND ARE MEMBERS OF SINGLE-PARENTED FAMILIES IN TRANSITION. THE ECONOMIC INSTABILITY OF THEIR FAMILIES GREATLY INFLUENCES THESE YOUTHS. APPARENTLY, LARGE SOCIAL CONGREGATIONS OF YOUTH, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, POOR POLICE/COMMUNITY RELATIONS, AND CLOSED SCHOOL GROUNDS CONTRIBUTE TO THE INCREASE IN THE INCIDENCE OF GANG ACTIVITIES. BECAUSE OF INEFFECTIVE POLICE METHODS, INSUFFICIENT POLICE MANPOWER, THE AVAILABILITY OF SOPHISTICATED WEAPONRY TO YOUTHS, AND THE ABILITY OF YOUTHS TO USE LEGAL AID TO AVOID PROSECUTION, GANG CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES HAVE NOT BEEN ELIMINATED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS BE TAKEN TO ERADICATE OR PREVENT GANG VIOLENCE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES: (1) LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF THE PROBLEM AND INCREASE THE PUBLIC'S AWARENESS OF IT; (2) THE PUBLIC SHOULD DEMAND THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES INFORM THEM OF WAYS TO ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM; (3) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS SHOULD OBTAIN COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE AND (4) PREVENTION MUST BE EMPHASIZED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): California; Group behavior; Illinois; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Motivation; Pennsylvania; Social organization; Vandalism; Violent crimes; Violent offenders; Youthful offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50055

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