ERIC Number: ED358399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Membership in Violent Gangs Fed by Suspicion, Deterred through Respect.
This document concerns the problem of violent youth gangs, noting that gang activity is no longer restricted to the depressed urban centers but is arriving in suburbs and edge cities. This paper discusses who is in gangs, what gangs offer their members, positive prevention and intervention approaches, and approaches to avoid. The suggested approaches are applicable to any gang setting, but may prove most helpful in settings with relatively new gang problems. A section on demographics and related dynamics in gangs presents a brief picture of who is in gangs, looking at ethnicity, gender, and age of gang members. The following section looks at negative responses to gangs, including repressive policies, labeling, and suspicion; enforcement and the threat of imprisonment; and a tendency to treat the gang as the unit of intervention. The next section suggests a number of positive responses: respecting one another, cooperative learning, engaging in direct dialogue, and providing job opportunities. The conclusion lists four extremely significant conditions leading to differences in the behavior of delinquent gang members as compared to normatively socialized youths and notes that programs which have been most successful in preventing or diminishing serious gang violence have taken these dynamics into account. The document ends with brief descriptions of 26 sample gang intervention/prevention programs. (Contains 59 references.) (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Lab., Los Alamitos, CA.