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NCJ Number: 65351 Find in a Library
Title: GANGS, GROUPS, AND SERIOUS YOUTH CRIME (FROM CRITICAL ISSUES IN JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, 1980, BY DAVID SHICHOR AND DELOS H KELLY - SEE NCJ-65344)
Author(s): W B MILLER
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A FEDERALLY SPONSORED SURVEY OF COLLECTIVE YOUTH CRIME IN 24 MAJOR U.S. CITIES PROVIDED THE BASIC DATA FOR THIS STUDY OF SERIOUS CRIME COMMITTED BY YOUTHS IN GANGS AND IN NONGANG GROUPS.
Abstract: RESEARCHERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS HAVE NOT DEVELOPED A COMMON DEFINITION OF A GANG BUT USUALLY FOCUS ON LARGE, HIGHLY VISIBLE ORGANIZATIONS, EXCLUDING LOOSELY-KNIT, CASUAL GROUPS OF YOUTHS WHO COMMIT CRIME. BUT FOR THIS STUDY, NEW CATEGORIES ARE USED TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN GANGS AND NONGANG GROUPS. INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED WITH A WIDE RANGE OF INDIVIDUALS SUCH AS POLICE, JUDGES, EDUCATORS, EX-PRISONERS, AND GANG MEMBERS, INCLUDING REPRESENTATIVES FROM MINORITY GROUPS. THE PRIMARY UNIT OF ANALYSIS WAS THE LAW-VIOLATING YOUTH GROUP, AN ASSOCIATION OF THREE OR MORE YOUTHS WHOSE MEMBERS ENGAGE IN RECURRENT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES WITH THE SUPPORT OF THEIR COMPANIONS. THESE GROUPS WERE DIVIDED INTO 18 SUBCATEGORIES DEPENDING ON THE FORM, CHARACTERS, AGE, SEX COMPOSITION, AND MODUS OPERANDI. OVER 300 RESPONDENTS TO THE SURVEY FREQUENTLY CITED THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS AS IMPORTANT IN THEIR CONCEPTION OF A GANG: ORGANIZATION, IDENTIFIABLE LEADERSHIP, TERRITORIAL IDENTIFICATION, CONTINUOUS ASSOCIATION, AND A SPECIFIC PURPOSE. SMALLER CITIES WERE LESS WILLING TO GIVE GANG STATUS TO YOUTH GROUPS INVOLVED IN CRIME. ALMOST ALL CITIES IN THE SURVEY REPORTED PROBLEMS WITH YOUTH GROUPS, BUT GANGS WERE PREDOMINANTLY A LARGE-CITY PHENOMENON. HALF THE CITIES FELT THAT ACTIVITIES BY GROUPS OR GANGS CONTRIBUTED TO THE SERIOUS CRIMES OF HOMICIDE, RAPE, AND ARMED ROBBERY. INFORMATION ON CRIMES COMMITTED BY YOUTH GROUPS OTHER THAN GANGS IS DIFFICULT TO COLLECT, BUT PRELIMINARY ESTIMATES INDICATE THAT URBAN YOUTH MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABOUT HALF OF ALL SERIOUS CRIME AND 70 PERCENT OF SERIOUS JUVENILE CRIME. WITH THIS IN MIND, POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE SERIOUS CRIME ARE MADE FOR SIX CRIMINAL JUSTICE AREAS: RECORDKEEPING, COMMUNITY PREVENTION AND CONTROL, ARRESTS, PLACEMENT DECISIONS, PROBATION, AND AFTERCARE. DATA ON GANG AND YOUTH GROUP NUMBERS, TYPES OF CRIMES, AND ARRESTS ARE SUMMARIZED. TABLES, NOTES, AND REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Crime surveys; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; United States of America
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65351

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