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The Youth Gang Problem : A Community Approach - Irving A. Spergel

The Youth Gang Problem

A Community Approach

Paperback Published: 19th March 1995
ISBN: 9780195092035
Number Of Pages: 364

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Every day there are new stories of gang-related crime: from the proliferation of illegal weapons in the streets and children dealing drugs in their schools, to innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of never-ending gang wars. Once considered an urban phenomenon, gang violence is permeating American life, spreading to the suburbs and bringing the problem closer to home for much of America. The government, schools, social agencies, and the justice system are conspicuous by their sporadic interest in the subject and have failed to develop effective policies and programs. Existing social support mechanisms and strategies for suppressing violence have often been unsuccessful. And, state and federal policy is largely nonexistent.
In The Youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach, Irving Spergel provides a systematic analysis of youth gangs in the United States. Based on research, historical and comparative analysis, and agency documents and the author's extensive first-hand experience, the work explores the gang problem from the perspective of community disorganization, especially population movement, and the plight of the underclass. It examines the factors of gang member personality, gang dynamics, criminal organization, and the influence of family, school, prisons, and politics, as well as the response of criminal justice agencies and community groups. Spergel describes techniques used by social agencies, schools, employment programs, criminal justice agencies, and grass-roots organizations for dealing with gangs, and recommends strategies that emphasize the use of local resources, planning, and collaborative procedures.
There is no single strategy and no easy solution to the youth gang problem in the United States. There are, however, substantial steps we can take, and they must be honestly and systematically tested. Offering a practical and alternative approach to a serious social problem, The Youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach is a major and long-awaited contribution to this dilemma. It is required reading for criminal justice personnel, school staff, social workers, policy makers, students and scholars of urban and organizational sociology, and the general reader concerned with the youth gang problem and how to control, intervene, and prevent it.

Industry Reviews

"Likely to be a basic resource for students of youth gangs for some time to come."--Choice "The book provides a comprehensive and insightful theoretical examination of youth gang problems, related phenomena, and alternative explanations. It also provides and extensive and current description and analysis of the policies and strategies that are being used to deal with gang problems in the community. I enthusiastically recommend it to students of criminal justice in general and of juvenile delinquency in particular."--Dr. Amnon Lazar, University of Haifa, Israel "This is not "another" book on youth gangs. It is a descriptive, scholarly, and thought-provoking treatise on the proliferation of youth violence, gang membership, gang mobility, and the mandatory responses of government, the criminal justice system, and social agencies...Adds a major contribution to our knowledge of crimingla interaction patterns and techniques...Spergel has written an organized and scholarly piece...Rich in theory and practical application."--Journal of Criminal Justice "This book is the product of a lifetime of research and action by one of the most senior scholars in this field. The author's long involvement with gang interventions provides welcome depth and judgment in categorizing and assessing these efforts."--American Journal of Sociology "Likely to be a basic resource for students of youth gangs for some time to come."--Choice "The book provides a comprehensive and insightful theoretical examination of youth gang problems, related phenomena, and alternative explanations. It also provides and extensive and current description and analysis of the policies and strategies that are being used to deal with gang problems in the community. I enthusiastically recommend it to students of criminal justice in general and of juvenile delinquency in particular."--Dr. Amnon Lazar, University of Haifa, Israel "This is not "another" book on youth gangs. It is a descriptive, scholarly, and thought-provoking treatise on the proliferation of youth violence, gang membership, gang mobility, and the mandatory responses of government, the criminal justice system, and social agencies...Adds a major contribution to our knowledge of crimingla interaction patterns and techniques...Spergel has written an organized and scholarly piece...Rich in theory and practical application."--Journal of Criminal Justice "This book is the product of a lifetime of research and action by one of the most senior scholars in this field. The author's long involvement with gang interventions provides welcome depth and judgment in categorizing and assessing these efforts."--American Journal of Sociology

Description and Analysis
Introduction: Comparative and Historical Perspectivesp. 3
Gang Problems in Other Countries and Timesp. 3
Gangs in the United States before the 1990sp. 6
The Contemporary Gang Scene in the United Statesp. 9
Research Limitations: Data Sources and Definitionsp. 12
The Limits of Datap. 12
Solving the Definitional Problemp. 16
Scope and Seriousness of the Gang Problemp. 26
Extent of the Problemp. 26
Youth Gang Violencep. 33
Gangs, Drugs, and Violencep. 43
Gang Drug Use and Trafficking: Historical Perspectivesp. 43
Increase in Gang Member Drug Traffickingp. 45
Gang Drug Trafficking and Criminal Organizationp. 47
Changing Relationships of Gangs and Drug Dealingp. 49
Gang Violence, Drug Use, and Drug Traffickingp. 50
Gang Member Demographics and Gang Subculturesp. 55
Demographicsp. 55
Gang Subcultures and Social Contextsp. 61
The Structure of the Gangp. 70
Gang Organization and Community Structurep. 70
Development of Gang Organizationp. 71
Patterns of Organization of the Gangp. 74
Evolving Gang Organizationp. 77
Limitations of the Idea of Gang Organizationp. 79
Cliques or Subgroupsp. 81
Types of Gang Membersp. 83
Leaders and Core Gang Membersp. 85
Territoryp. 87
The Gang Member Experiencep. 90
Joining the Gangp. 90
Group Processp. 96
Leaving the Gangp. 104
The Ecological Contextp. 110
Local Context and Gang Developmentp. 111
Familyp. 113
Schoolp. 116
Politicsp. 120
Prisonsp. 125
Youth Gangs and Organized Crimep. 129
Defining Organized Crimep. 129
The Evolving Youth Gang-Organized-Crime Connectionp. 131
Transformation of the Black Street Gangp. 134
Hispanic Youth Gang-Criminal-Organization Connectionsp. 137
Asian-American, Pacific, and Asian Gang Criminal-Organization Connectionsp. 138
Policy and Program
Theoretical Perspectivesp. 145
Poverty-related Theoriesp. 145
Social Disorganizationp. 152
Racismp. 161
Personal Disorganizationp. 163
Planning for Youth Gang Control and Violence Reductionp. 171
Historical Considerationsp. 171
Elements of a Community Planning and Mobilization Processp. 178
Criminal Justice System: The Policep. 189
Suppression: "Recent" Traditional Law Enforcement Approachesp. 189
Emerging Police Approachp. 199
Prosecution, Defense, and the Judiciaryp. 208
The Specialized Prosecution Strategyp. 209
Defense Attorneysp. 216
Court Attention to the Problemp. 219
Probation, Corrections, and Parole--After Carep. 229
Probationp. 230
Correctionsp. 235
Parole--After Carep. 243
Social Interventionp. 247
Traditional Approaches: Street-Gang Workp. 248
Recent Innovative Approachesp. 256
Social Opportunities: Education and Jobsp. 262
Macro Level Educational Perspectivep. 263
Local School Programsp. 267
Macro Level Employment Perspectivep. 272
Local Employmentp. 277
Local Community Mobilization and Evolving National Policyp. 281
Local Citizen and Organization Mobilizationp. 281
State-Level Mobilizationp. 287
Need for National Policyp. 290
Community Mobilization/Planning: Selected Structure and Process Summaryp. 297
Nature and Level of Youth Gang Member Problems to Be Addressedp. 299
Selected Strategic Activities/Structures for Particular Settings (Organizations)p. 301
Glossary and Discussion of Termsp. 309
Referencesp. 313
Indexp. 337
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195092035
ISBN-10: 0195092031
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 19th March 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.37 x 15.55  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52

Earn 222 Qantas Points
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