Gangs: A Reference Handbook

Gangs: A Reference Handbook

Gangs: A Reference Handbook

Gangs: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

A thoroughly updated look at the world of gangs, charting their growth and development in the United States and worldwide, as well as the efforts to curb their expanding criminal enterprises.

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to provide a balanced survey of the available literature and resources on gangs. Topics addressed include the history of gangs, the types of youth who join gangs and why they join, where gangs are found, what distinguishes a gang from any other group of youngsters, how law enforcement and other intervention programs are dealing with gangs, what states and cities are doing to cope with gangs, and what other countries are doing to curb gang behavior. The book also provides statistical information, data on intervention programs, and summaries of print and nonprint resources for further information.

The nature and characteristics of gangs have changed over the years, from teenage boys getting together to have some fun and maybe create a little bit of trouble, to large, well-organized, and sophisticated groups of young men, and often women, who get together for protection and to engage in some type of criminal activity. While many gangs today are informal, loosely structured, and unorganized, others are sophisticated groups, with clear hierarchies, Web sites and blogs, and member gangs in many cities and countries around the world. Law enforcement agencies may have difficulty keeping up with changing gang structures and characteristics. It is important for all professionals involved in working with gangs to understand their changing nature and to adapt their programs and intervention strategies accordingly. This book examines and reviews current knowledge and resources in order to provide an understanding of the issues involved in this important and timely topic.

This book, like other books in the Contemporary World Issues series, provides a comprehensive review of the resources available and a guide to further research on the topic of youth . . .

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