1st Edition

Introduction to Gangs in America

ISBN 9781439869451
Published December 2, 2011 by Routledge
170 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $110.00

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Book Description

Gangs have long been a social and criminal threat to society. Introduction to Gangs in America explains how gangs are addressed as a criminal justice and public policy problem, providing a student-friendly, easily accessible, concise overview of the role, place, structure, and activities of gangs in American society. The book describes what gangs are, what differentiates them from each other, how they share similarities, and how they fit into contemporary American culture.

The authors explore the history and structure of gangs, reveal their clandestine activities, and analyze their social impact. The book also includes information on gender issues in gangs, and provides insight into how gangs impact American educational institutions

Offering an insider’s account, the book provides in-depth profiles of specific gangs, including:

  • Europe’s five major biker gangs
  • The Outlaws
  • The Hell’s Angels
  • The Bandidos
  • The Pagans
  • Bloods
  • Aryan Brotherhood
  • Black Guerrilla Family
  • Mexican Mafia
  • Texas Syndicate
  • Neta

Discussion questions appear at the end of each chapter, stimulating debate and classroom discussion.

It may never be possible to eradicate gangs from our culture. But by understanding their structure, their strengths and vulnerabilities, and how they operate, law enforcement can better protect the public from their nefarious activities. This text gives future law enforcement professionals rare insider insight into a subject typically shrouded in secrecy.

Table of Contents

The Structure of Gangs
Types of Gangs
Racial and Ethnic Gangs
Chicano/Hispanic Gangs
Asian Gangs
Types of Gang Members
Gang Members: Perpetrators and Victims
Gangs and Homicide
Defining and Counting Gang Homicides
Characteristics of Gang Homicides
Who Is Involved
Where Gang Homicides Occur
How Gang Homicides Are Committed
Drive-By Shootings

Homicide and Other Criminal Offenses
Gang Homicide and Community Crime Rates
Gang Homicide and Other Homicides/Assaults
Drug Trafficking
Gangs and Police
Police Response to Gangs
Police Gang Units
Gang Unit Officers
Community Partners Working with Police
Creating and Sustaining a Successful Strategy to Address
Gang Problems
Gangs and Schools
Extent of Gangs in Schools
Motivations to Joining a Gang
Gang Recruitment
Effects of Gang Membership and School Gang Affiliation
Gangs and School Violence
Motorcycle Gangs
America’s Motorcycle Gangs: A Brief History
Biker Violence in Other Countries
Europe’s Five Major Biker Gangs
Motorcycle Gangs in the United States: The Big Four
The Outlaws
The Hell’s Angels
The Bandidos
The Pagans
Gang Structure
The Outlaws Motorcycle Gang
History of the Outlaws
Organization and Definition of Officers
Colors and Patches of Sets and Memberships
A Day in the Life of an Outlaw
Criminal Behaviors
Brotherhood and Collegiality
The Pagans Motorcycle Club
History of the Pagans Motorcycle Club
Criminal Activities
Patches and Colors
Chapters and Subsets
The Bandidos Motorcycle Club
A Short History of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club
Criminal History of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club
The Hell’s Angels
A Short History of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club
Membership Requirements
Patches and Colors of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club
Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club Charters
Crime, Criminals, and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club
Women in Gangs
Research on Females in Gangs
The Number of Females in Gangs
Crimes and Delinquency of Females in Gangs
Risk Factors Associated with Females Joining Gangs
Prison Gangs
What Is a Prison Gang?
Profiles of Prison Gangs
Aryan Brotherhood
Black Guerrilla Family
Mexican Mafia
Texas Syndicate
Islamic Gangs
Structure of Prison Gangs
Prison Gangs and Prison Culture
Prison Gang Leaders
Prison Gangs and Violence
How Prison Officials Work to Control Prison Gangs
Gang Policy
Community Policies
Spergel and Curry’s Developmental Community
Effectiveness of These Policies
A Risk-Focused Approach
Individual Characteristics
Healthy Beliefs and Clear Standards
Examples of Community Policies and Programs to Reduce
Gangs and Gang Life
Legal Policies

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Ronald M. Holmes, Richard Tewksbury, and George E. Higgins are with the Department of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA.