In contemporary American society, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)—a leading state authority on street gangs—defines a street gang as groups of individuals ranging from 12 to 24 years of age. These groups vary in their size and their level of organization and are engaged in criminal and violent behavior. The contemporary street gang is often categorized by economic, communal, or symbolic considerations, including homicide, drug trafficking, burglary, robbery, and auto theft. Over time, communities in America have reacted with ...

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