Synopses & Reviews
In the past two decades, many prevention and suppression programs have been initiated on a national and local level to combat street gangs--but what do we really know about them? Why do youths join them? Why do they proliferate? Street Gang Patterns and Policies
is a crucial update and critical examination of our understanding of gangs and major gang-control programs across the nation. Often perceived solely as an urban issue, street gangs are also a suburban and rural dilemma. Klein and Maxson focus on gang proliferation, migration, and crime patterns, and highlight known risk factors that lead to youths form and join gangs within communities. Dispelling the long-standing assumptions that the public, 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. Klein and Maxson close by offering valuable 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 is a must-read for criminologists, social workers, policy makers, and criminal justice practitioners.
"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
About 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.
Table of Contents
1. Gang Prevalence, Proliferation, and Migration
2. Gang Crime Patterns
3. Six Major Gang Control Programs
4. Individual Level Context: Risk Factors for Joining Gangs
5. Gang Structures and Group Processes
6. Community Contexts
7. Multiple Goals for Gang Control Programs and Policies
8. A Model for Policy Choices