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Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs and Urban Violence

Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs and Urban Violence

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Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs and Urban Violence

70 pagine
37 minuti
Jan 15, 2011


The secretive and underworld element of gangs creates many questions about them and gang culture. What is a gang and what are today’s prevalent kinds? What problems exist currently? What are real gang activities? What is being done about gangs and urban violence? This book answers these questions and many more. Outlaw motorcycle gangs, prison gangs, and street gangs are examined and readers learn that most street gangs are loosely organized with no hierarchy. Females make up nearly a sixth of the total gang membership, and the average age of a gang member is seventeen or eighteen years old. This authoritative book concludes with a discussion of the strategies of prevention, intervention, and suppression of gangs.
Jan 15, 2011

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Anteprima del libro

Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs and Urban Violence - Ann Byers

Published in 2011 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

Copyright © 2011 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

First Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Byers, Ann.

Frequently asked questions about gangs and urban violence / Ann Byers.

p. cm.—(FAQ: teen life)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-4488-1325-4 (library binding)

1. Gangs—United States—Juvenile literature. 2. Urban violence—United States—Juvenile literature. I. Title.

HV6439.U5B94 2011



Manufactured in the United States of America

CPSIA Compliance Information: Batch #W11YA: For further information, contact Rosen Publishing, New York, New York, at 1-800-237-9932.


1 What Is a Gang? Are There Different Types?

2 How Big Is the Gang Problem?

3 Who Joins a Gang? Why Do They Join?

4 What Kinds of Activities Are Gangs Involved In?

5 What Can Be Done About Gangs and Gang Violence?


For More Information

For Further Reading



Chapter one


The Shirttails, the Plug Uglies, and the Dead Rabbits. These were the names of some of the biggest gangs of early nineteenth-century America. Today’s gangs have more violent monikers: Men of Destruction, Shotgun Crips, and Murder Squad.

Young people have always liked to hang together in groups. Sometimes they just have fun, and sometimes they cause trouble. When people talk about a gang, they usually mean a group of three or more people who:

•   Are together regularly and often

•   Identify themselves by a common name and symbols

•   See themselves as a gang and are recognized by others as a gang

•   Are street-oriented, which means their activities as a group are not done at home but on the streets or at other public places

•   Are engaged in criminal activities

Being involved in criminal activities is what sets a group apart as a gang. Some of the crimes are fairly minor, like damaging property, stealing, or spraying graffiti. Some are more serious, like auto theft, assault, or dealing in drugs. All of them can get people in trouble.

Three Kinds of Gangs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lists three types of gangs that cause serious problems. One is the outlaw motorcycle gang. These gangs are not motorcycle clubs but highly organized, extremely violent groups of adults who buy and sell guns and drugs. They are a big problem for law enforcement but not for most citizens; their violence is usually aimed at people directly involved in their criminal activities.

The second type of gang is the prison gang. As the name implies, these are networks of men in prisons. Many were in street gangs and were arrested and sentenced to prison for the crimes they committed in those gangs. They cannot directly harm ordinary citizens, but they do pose an indirect threat. While in prison, they recruit and train new members for their gangs. They

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