Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide U.S. Department of Justice

ISBN: 9781479352777

Published: August 11th 2012


238 pages


Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide  by  U.S. Department of Justice

Addressing Community Gang Problems: A Practical Guide by U.S. Department of Justice
August 11th 2012 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 238 pages | ISBN: 9781479352777 | 9.58 Mb

Contemporary gangs-variously known as youth or delinquent gangs and street or criminal gangs-have become a widespread threat to communities throughout the Nation. Once considered largely an urban phenomenon, gangs have increasingly emerged in smaller communities, presenting a challenge that severely strains local resources. All gang problems are local in nature.

Whether rooted in neighborhoods, representing a rite of passage, or providing surrogate families or access to economic opportunity, most gangs are inherently local. Even large-scale gangs with reputed nationwide networks attract local youth and take advantage of local opportunities to carry out gang activities. This monograph presents a problem-solving model that is applied to gang problems. This model is often referred to as SARA, an acronym for the four steps involved in the process-scanning, analysis, response, and assessment.

Communities first initiate the problem-solving process by searching for and identifying gang problems-scanning. The second step of the problem-solving process-analysis-involves investigating the specific gang problem in greater detail. In general, analysis helps a community understand the nature of its gang problem-how it is manifested, who is harmed and how, and when the problems occur. Having identified their gang problems and thoroughly analyzed them, communities can proceed to the third step and develop their local response.

The final step of the problem solving process is an assessment of the effectiveness of the response. It can also be used to change the response, improve the analysis, or even redefine the problem. The gang-problem triangle is a method of analyzing or developing a deeper understanding of local gang problems and pointing to fruitful avenues of response. Three elements must be present before a gang-related harm can occur: an offender, a victim, and a place. If a person thinks about each element as representing a side of a triangle, he or she can easily visualize that removing a side of the triangle will cause the triangle to collapse.

An important part of the gang-problem triangle is recognizing that there are third parties with responsibilities for each side of the triangle. Controllers are people who, acting in the best interest of potential offenders, try to prevent them from committing offenses. Guardians are people who try to prevent harm from coming to potential victims.

Managers are people who oversee places where harm occurs. Identifying the people responsible for victims, offenders, and places and involving them in the development of plans and programs is necessary if communities are to reduce and prevent future gang problems.

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