This book presents some of the federally funded research projects on gangs.
The projects reflect a diverse set of methodologies and interests. They present a representative selection of the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) collection of gang-related research. Chapter 1 discusses a decade of gang research and the findings of the NIJ gang portfolio. Each research project is summarized. Chapter 2 presents the evolution of street gangs and examines form and variation. Chapter 3 describes the risk factors, delinquency, and victimization risk for young women in street gangs. Chapter 4 focuses on youth gang homicides in the 1990's. Three issues of importance to the understanding of gang homicide -- measurement, trends, and correlates are examined. The National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is outlined in chapter 5. This program is classroom-based and consists of eight lessons designed to teach middle school students life skills that enable them to resist the pressures of gangs, drugs, and delinquency. Chapter 6 evaluates Nevada’s antigang legislation and gang prosecution units. Chapter 7, presents an evaluation of a task force approach to gangs. The task force, known as JUDGE (Jurisdictions Unified for Drug Gang Enforcement), did not clear up the question of whether specific gang enforcement yielded better results than did traditional forms of law enforcement. Chapter 8 describes an evaluation of gang prevention programs for female adolescents. It was found that gang membership showed as much variation for young women as it did for men. Chapter 9 focuses on reducing gang violence in Boston. Chapter 10 describes the development of a GIS-based regional gang incident tracking system. Recommendations for future directions in gang research include incorporating some of the insights of research literature outside the gang field; funding collaborative efforts; and considering the use of a dynamic problem-solving approach.