The American Street Gang: Its Nature, Prevalence, and Control

By Malcolm W. Klein | Go to book overview
Save to active project


The Contemporary Street Gang Situation

Once disorganized and lacking both the leadership and resources, the gangs of today are organized, are goal minded, and well equipped with weapons, vehicles, electronic gadgetry, and fat budgets. The gangs of today, whether they realize it or not, are becoming business majors. They are involved in merchandising, franchising, retail and wholesale sales, and market expansion. Their product is illicit drugs, and the rock cocaine is the flagship of their line.

Testimony from Lieutenant Larry Carter, Inglewood Police Department, to the California State Task Force on Gangs and Drugs (Final Report, California Council on Criminal Justice Sacramento, California, January 1989)

What's wrong with this dramatic testimony, and so many other recent statements from law enforcement officials across the country, is that it reflects the limited view of those primarily experienced in drug markets, not street gang realities. It projects a conspiracy-oriented mentality that goes well beyond the capacity of most street gangs. It ignores the vast number of street gangs and gang members across the nation who are only tangentially involved in drug sales, being more occupied -- as they have been for fifty or more years -- in the more mundane problems of daily living, minor crimes, and the prospect of serious violence.

Much of what I have to say in this chapter about the contemporary street gang situation stands in opposition to the portrayals offered not only by some law enforcement agencies but also by many politicians unacquainted with the data on modern street gangs. Issues


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American Street Gang: Its Nature, Prevalence, and Control


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 270

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?