ERIC Number: ED247476
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Police Handling of Youth Gangs. Reports of the National Juvenile Justice Assessment Centers.
Needle, Jerome A.; Stapleton, Wm Vaughan
Although the organizational structure and activities of youth gangs have been studied, little research has focused on law enforcement strategies to handle youth gang behavior. To examine how police handle youth gangs and law violation and to identify effective prevention and control strategies, the police gang control and youth personnel departments in 60 randomly selected cities were surveyed. An analysis of the results showed that 45% of the cities surveyed reported the presence of youth gangs and associated problems, while only 15 police departments reported having specialized youth gang units. Police gang control functions encompassed four classes of activities: information processing, prevention, enforcement, and follow-up investigations. Gang control programs featured traditional strategies designed to prevent crime and apprehend offenders. Although a few large police departments appeared to have made large investments in prevention programs, the majority of agencies had made modest investments. Finally, many programs had management problems, due to the lack of written policies, personnel training, and evaluation methods. A comprehensive community gang control program focusing on management, program effectiveness, and delivery systems is recommended. (The appendices include a reference list, a list of selected readings, a description of study methodology including the survey used, and task force recommendations.) (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Dept. of Justice/LEAA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Justice Inst., Sacramento, CA.