Cover image for Gangs
Wolff, Lisa, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Lucent Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Discusses gangs and their various aspects, including the reasons why people join them, their relationship to crime, their effects on society, and the prevention of gang-related crime.
The appeal of gangs -- Gangs, drugs, and violence -- Life in a gang-infested neighborhood -- Cracking down on gang activity -- Preventing gang-related crime.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6439.U5 W65 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Street gangs in the United States have become increasingly violent and dangerous in recent decades, posing a major social problem. The reasons young people join gangs, their strong connection to criminal activity, their effects on American society, how the law treats gangs, and efforts at prevention are examined.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-9. Wolff goes into the reasons gangs are formed, the criminal activities gangs engage in, and the attempts to deal with gangs in the legal system and through social agencies. There's enough information to give readers a good background on the subject. In some cases, however, the black-and-white photographs and charts don't match the text. And the text, which for the most part is clearly written, suffers from occasional redundancies. The volume is much different from the 1992 Lucent Overview book with the same title, which focused more on the history of gangs in the U. S. and put less emphasis on attempts to deal with gangs. In fact, the two books complement each other, with gaps in the one filled in by the other. Extensive notes, a short list of suggestions for further reading, and a large number of Internet sources are included. While this lacks the impact of such first-person accounts as Beth Atkin's Voices from the Street (1996), it will still prove useful for reports. --Todd Morning

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-A factually dense update on gangs in the United States. Wolff includes a brief overview of their historical development and then addresses the appeal they hold for today's disconnected youth. The impact of societal factors such as easy access to guns and drugs, lack of jobs, and weak family bonds are acknowledged. Efforts to control and stop gang activity through curfews, police units, and other controversial law-enforcement measures are discussed. Wolff's final chapters deal with punishment for gang-related crime through incarceration and rehabilitation efforts as well as education and community programs for gang prevention. Black-and-white photographs appear throughout. Statistics range from the mid-1970s to 1998 and are not limited to particular cities or areas of the country. Clear, concise writing and a direct style impart data in an accessible format. An excellent list of Web site articles and organizations to contact for more information add to the research value.-Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.