• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Gangs and Their Crimes, Characteristics of

The first challenge one might theoretically confront when discussing gangs is trying to arrive at a suitable definition for what constitutes a gang. In fact, if a jurisdiction fails to exercise due care in defining gangs in its municipal ordinances, it may well deem as gang members a collection of weekend poker players or some other relatively crime-free assemblage and—as some cities have learned—find itself being sued.

Perhaps a good approach when seeking to characterize what constitutes gang behavior is to adopt the definition provided in Title 18, Sec. 521 of the United States Code, where “criminal street gangs” are defined for federal purposes as “ongoing groups, clubs, organizations, or associations of five or more individuals that have as one of their primary purposes the commission ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles