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DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2009
  • Office of Justice Programs
  • Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
  • (202) 307-0703
  • TDD (202) 514-1888



WASHINGTON ? The Department of Justice?s Office of Justice Programs today announced the availability of research exploring the ?code of the street? theory. Developed by Elijah Anderson, the ?code of the street? theory involves an unending cycle of gaining and losing respect and reputation. Mr. Anderson theorized that economic disadvantage, separation from mainstream society, and racial discrimination encountered by some African-American adolescents may lead to anti-social attitudes and to violent behavior. This new research by Eric Stewart and Ronal Simons integrates the environmental and cultural factors examined in many previous studies of urban violence. This report generally supports Mr. Anderson?s observations and emphasizes the need to consider Anderson?s theory in future studies.

TITLE: ?The Code of the Street and African-American Adolescent Violence"
AUTHOR: Eric A. Stewart and Ronald L. Simons
National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
United States Department of Justice
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
(NCJ 219386)

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at