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General Community Design Model

NCJ Number
Date Published
14 pages
This paper provides background information on the causes and traditional remedial responses to youth gangs and then proposes a general community design model for addressing the youth gang problem in communities.
The authors conclude that social disorganization or the failure of specific institutions -- family, school, employment, as well as individual personality -- to properly mesh provides basic pressure in the generation of the youth gang problem. Variables of class, culture, race, or ethnicity also interact with community factors such as poverty, population movement, social instability, and social isolation to account for the variety of youth gang problems that have developed. Responses to the problem of youth gangs that have generally failed are outlined, followed by the presentation of elements of the proposed model of general community design. Model elements are community mobilization (networking among organizations and grassroots participation); social intervention (crisis intervention, counseling, or recreation to change gang youth norms and values); opportunities provision (remedial education, training, and job placement); suppression (arrest, incarceration, and supervision of gang youth); and organizational development (creation of new or special mechanisms to facilitate any of the above four basic strategies).

Date Published: January 1, 1991