Efforts to reduce gang violence by deterring youth from joining street gangs are of major interest in cities across the United States. Current thinking supports a comprehensive gang reduction approach that includes concurrent efforts that prevent joining, encourage leaving, and interrupt gang violence. This paper focuses on a method of strengthening the prevention component by improving the identification of youth at high risk for gang joining. The authors advocate a secondary prevention approach supported by an empirically based assessment of risk factors consistently associated with gang joining in rigorous studies across multiple locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Identifying high risk youth for secondary gang prevention
Journal of Crime & Justice