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Gangs, Neighborhoods, and Public Policy

John M. Hagedorn
Social Problems
Vol. 38, No. 4, Special Issue on the Underclass in the United States (Nov., 1991), pp. 529-542
DOI: 10.2307/800569
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800569
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Gangs, Neighborhoods, and Public Policy
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Abstract

This article uses research from three recent Milwaukee studies to show that deindustrialization has altered some characteristics of youth gangs. Gang members tend to stay involved with the gang as adults, and many have turned to the illegal drug economy for survival. Poor African-Americans in neighborhoods where gangs persist have both similarities and differences to Wilson's underclass concept. What characterizes these neighborhoods is not the absence of working people but the absence of effective social institutions. Public policy ought to stress jobs and investment in underclass neighborhoods, evaluation of programs, family preservation, and community control of social institutions.

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