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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 94458 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Gangs
Author(s): E F Dolan; S Finney
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 126
Sponsoring Agency: Simon and Schuster
New York, NY 10020
Sale Source: Simon and Schuster
Publicity Manager
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After outlining the history of juvenile gangs in the United States and abroad, this book addresses the numbers and criminal activities of gangs today, gang characteristics, ethnic gangs, gang membership and leader characteristics, the gang's daily life, and ways of countering the gang problem.
Abstract: Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the history of youth gangs is traced in the immigrant populations of the United States through World War II into an apparent wane of youth gangs in the 1960's and finally to the early 1980's, as youth gangs have proliferated in their numbers and the volume and seriousness of crimes they commit. Various theories to explain the contemporary increase in gangs are reviewed, along with the nature of gang crime and the extent of violence involved. A chapter devoted to the nature of the gang considers the age of gang members, their ethnic and social backgrounds, the neighborhood character of gangs, and gang interests. A discussion of ethnic gangs encompasses black, Hispanic, Asian, and white gangs, with attention to each ethnic gang's crime interests, use of violence, turf control, and personal style. A chapter then addresses types of gang memberships, the qualities of gang leaders, gang organization, and the role of females in gangs. Consideration of the daily life of the gang encompasses procedures for forming and joining a gang, the initiation period, guidance and identity, and gang activities (companionship; drugs, alcohol, and theft; anger and violence; spontaneous fights; and gang raids and wars). Finally, ways of dealing with the gang problem are outlined, including the arrest and isolation of gang leaders and hardcore members, mediation and intervention, using street workers to redirect gang members toward constructive activities, self-help programs, and developing recreational activities, family life, schools and education, neighborhood conditions, and youth employment opportunities. Fifteen references and a subject index are provided.
Index Term(s): Ethnic groups; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
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