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NCJ Number: 97382 Find in a Library
Title: Chicago Youth Gangs - A New Old Problem
Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice  Volume:7  Dated:(1984)  Pages:1-16
Author(s): G J Bensinger
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of the history of the youth gang problem in Chicago and current police strategies and tactics to address it issues in the general recommendation that the police adopt a proactive comprehensive social strategy.
Abstract: Chicago has at least 100 gangs, and the largest has 700 to 1,000 members. Their activities have spread to the suburbs and include a wide variety of crimes as well as conflicts with other gangs. In 1981, 84 gang-related homicides occurred in the city. Gang activity in Chicago dates from at least the latter part of the 19th century. During the 1950's and 1960's, the gangs were left on their own. In 1967, the escalation of racial problems and the growth of supergangs led to the formation of the first citywide police gang unit. Community support for gangs, shown in antipoverty funds going to some of them, had dropped rapidly by mid-1970 after the diversion of funds to illegal activities was exposed. Current strategies to combat youth gangs include (1) cooperation between the police and the county prosecutor in arresting and prosecuting gang members; (2) the enactment of legislation making it a felony to force someone to join a gang, providing for the automatic transfer to adult criminal court of juveniles charged with serious crimes, and increasing penalties for gang rape; and (3) efforts by the State's Attorney's Office to assist and protect witnesses against gang defendants. Chicago needs a comprehensive social strategy rather than repeated police reorganization to deal with the problem of gangs. Figures, 26 notes, and 11 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Illinois; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Police effectiveness; Police policies and procedures
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