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Juvenile Street Gangs - The Victimization of Youth

NCJ Number
Adolescence Volume: 11 Issue: 44 Dated: (Winter 1976) Pages: 527-533
C J Friedman; F Mann; H Adelman
Date Published
This research examines the nature and extent of the criminal victimization of gang-affiliated youth in Philadelphia compared with the victimization of nongang control subjects.
Subjects were 486 lower class adolescent males. Of these, 198 were selected from three correctional institutions; 160 were selected from a community-based job training program for the hard-core unemployed; and 128 were recruited from inner-city public high school. Information on subjects was obtained from a self-report victimization questionnaire, and percentages were computed for gang affiliates and nonaffiliates for 22 items. Gang members were victimized by being coerced to commit serious and violent offenses. Significantly more gang affiliates reported being forced to 'cause trouble in the neighborhood,' 'call policemen names,' 'get drunk,' 'fight,' 'steal,' and commit other offenses. Significant differences between black and white gang members emerged. Significantly more white street gang members reported being coerced by the gang to 'stay out all night long,' 'bother grown-ups in your own neighborhood,' and 'take pot, grass, reefers, hash, or marijuana.' Twenty-five percent of the subjects who identified themselves as gang members and nine percent who denied gang affiliations reported being forced to shoot at someone with a gun. Two tables and three references are included.