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Gang Involvement

Gang involvement is a significant issue not only for criminal justice policy and practice but also for public health. The understandably strong social concern over gang involvement is due to its well-established links with community crime and violence. In fact, as outlined below, almost every legal and practical definition of a gang includes the element of criminality. Thus, significant public resources have been devoted to gang prevention, intervention, and suppression in an effort to reduce the social and economic costs of gangs.

Although gang involvement is typically viewed as an adolescent phenomenon and active involvement is often limited to the teenage years, the typical developmental course of gang involvement (including precursors, correlates, and consequences) begins in early childhood and reaches far into adulthood. The process can ...

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