Juvenile Gang Violence

Suppression is the final stage of prevention. At this point the child has already exhibit signs or has committed a crime. Suppression is almost synonymous with rehabilitation but requires specific intervention such as zero tolerance policies, enforcing evening curfews throughout neighborhoods, and employing truancy policies with in schools. Incarceration should be a last resort for youth offends as its rough living conditions often turn cause youth to turn to violent behavior to survive. This can in turn produce violent criminals.

On the other hand “Community treatment programs utilize the resources in the community to treat delinquents and enable youths to work out their problems in a community environment. These programs can be effective in reintegrating delinquents into their communities and in enabling them to adapt to their environment”(Joseph, 1995, p. 137)  Community treatment programs can run programs to help youth see their own potential and excel in an area that they may not have known they had talent in. In fact “several states have initiated ways to keep delinquents out of the juvenile justice system and to treat them in the community.

This chapter focuses on intervention programs, primarily community-based treatment programs, such as diversion programs” with a similar structure to the prevention programs. (Joseph, 1995, p. 137)  Another reason courts wish to keep juveniles out of lock down detention centers is economic reasons. “Nonresidential treatment programs provide treatment and supervision for juveniles, but the delinquents are allowed to remain at home. These programs monitor the delinquents and provide intensive counseling, family therapy and educational counseling; job placement may also be part of the program.

These court-mandated programs are popular because they are more economical than residential placements. They do not provide living and sleeping quarters and accommodation; they make parental participation easier; fewer staff members are required; and they focus on treatment rather than punishment. Such programs include probation, restitution, house arrest and electronic monitoring, and aftercare and day-treatment programs” (Joseph, 1995, p. 138). Juvenile facilities are overcrowded and dangerous.

Nonresidential programs offer many alternatives and can be as or more effective in rehabilitation that juvenile lock down facilities. 3. Describe when gang membership is most likely to be attractive to a child. What efforts have been made to control gang activity? Joining a gang entices adolescents because it opens doors to a whole new world. One where they belong, have popularity and friends, the possibility to make money, and gangs may also signify structure which they may not have at home. Some adolescents join gangs to feel safe in their dangerous neighborhoods.

It has been found that "the gang is attractive in that it provides the situations where youths can demonstrate valued attributes of identity" (Sanders, 1994, p. 27) It has been suggested that joining a gang may not just be to gain acceptance and popularity “but instead may be a way for adolescents in these hazardous communities to cope with their stressful environments, as the gang may offer perceived benefits such as a sense of belonging, status, power, control, identity, guidance, excitement, and protection” (Harper & Robinson, 1999, p. 383).

Although “gang membership may be an important means of self-protection from the many threats confronting residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, but even more important is the opportunity for financial gain that gang membership (offers)” (Rosenthal, 2000, p. 99). In turn children may join gangs to help support themselves or their families. The efforts that have been made to control gang activity are prevention, intervention, and suppression. All types of youth programs have been designed to help prevent or change adolescent gang behavior.

With treatment programs, counseling facilities, after school programs, work study programs, and vocational programs underway youth have the opportunity to leave the gang lifestyle and create a stable environment for themselves.


  • Joseph, J. (1995). Black Youths, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=24129262
  • Eddy, J. M. , Reid, J. B. , & Fetrow, R. A. (2000). An Elementary School-Based Prevention Program Targeting Modifiable Antecedents of Youth Delinquency and Violence: Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(3), 165. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5001097288
  • Feld, B. C. (1999). Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=80912580
  • Sanders, W. B. (1994). Grounded Culture and Juvenile Gang Violence Grounded Culture and Juvenile Gang Violence. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Retrieved March 20, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=98461489
  • Harper, G. W. , & Robinson, W. L. (1999). Pathways to Risk among Inner-City African-American Adolescent Females: The Influence of Gang Membership. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27(3), 383. Retrieved March 20, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5001315638
  • Rosenthal, L. (2000). Gang Loitering and Race. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 91(1), 99. Retrieved March 20, 2007, from Questia database: https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-76752374/gang-loitering-and-race