For more than half a century, gangs have presented a critical challenge to communities across the United States. Despite the growth in the number of gangs and gang members over the past several years, little is known about the dynamics underlying this increase. We need to enhance our understanding of which youth join gangs and why. This bulletin draws on research findings to examine how gangs form and how communities may assess and respond to their gang problems. The author, Dr. James C. Howell, a senior research associate with the National Gang Center, identifies nine programs evidencing effectiveness in combating gangs. The content provided in these pages has informed the Office of Juvenil
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