Street Gang Patterns and Policies / Edition 1

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The problem of street gangs in America is not a new one. But even as the national crime rate has decreased, membership in street gangs has risen to new levels. In the past two decades, numerous prevention and suppression programs have been initiated, on the national and local level, in an attempt to combat this growing social problem. But what do we really know about street gangs? Why do youths join them? Why do they proliferate? Street Gang Patterns and Policies provides a crucial update and critical examination of knowledge about gangs and major gang control programs across the nation. Often perceived as solely an urban issue, street gangs are also a suburban and rural social problem. Malcolm Klein and Cheryl Maxson here focus on gang proliferation, migration, and crime patterns, and highlight known risk factors that lead to youths joining gangs and to gang formation within communities. Dispelling long-standing assumptions that the public—and the media and law enforcement—have about street gangs, they present a comprehensive overview of how gangs are organized and structured. The authors assess the major gang programs across the nation, and argue that existing prevention, intervention and suppression methods, targeting individuals, groups, and communities, have been largely ineffective, when evaluated. Klein and Maxson close by offering policy guidelines for practitioners on how to intervene and control gangs more successfully. Filling an important gap in the literature on street gangs and social control, this book will be a must read for criminologists, social workers, policy makers, and criminal justice practitioners. Features Authors offer a critical and comprehensive review of the major gang control programs across the United States and provide a thorough update of their own gang-related research. Offers specific policy guidelines to help communities improve their gang prevention, suppression, and intervention methods. Se

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an important book. Malcolm Klein and Cheryl Maxson here draw upon their own rich and pioneering research experience and that of others to provide the most comprehensive review of what is known and what needs to be known about gangs and their control in community contexts. I stand in awe of their accomplishment."—James F. Short, Jr., Past President of the American Sociological Association

"The need to intervene successfully with street gangs is self-evident; unfortunately the way to do so is not. Klein and Maxson, based on a masterful review of the empirical literature on gangs and on gang intervention efforts, lay out a balanced and comprehensive strategy for confronting this problem head-on. Neither falsely optimistic nor unnecessarily gloomy, they provide a road map that, if followed, will yield substantial progress in our fight against gangs."—Terence P. Thornberry, Director, Research Program on Problem Behavior, University of Colorado

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195163445
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/27/2006
  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm W. Klein is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southern California.

Cheryl L. Maxson is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine.

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Table of Contents

1 Gang prevalence, proliferation, and migration 19
2 Gang crime patterns 68
3 Six major gang control programs 88
4 Individual-level context : risk factors for joining gangs 139
5 Gang structures and group processes 162
6 Community contexts 209
7 Multiple goals for gang control programs and policies 231
8 A model for policy choices 246
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