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Gang organization and violence in youth correctional facilities

Gang organization and violence in youth correctional facilities Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to examine characteristics of gang organization in youth correctional facilities as reported by youth and staff as well as to analyze the relationship between institutional violence and level of gang organization. Design/methodology/approach– The data were collected through interviews with staff and youth in correctional facilities. Gang organization level averages are compared across youth and official perspectives, and the variability of responses among youth is also examined. Negative binomial regression models are conducted to determine the association between perceived level of gang organization and officially recorded violent behavior, both prior to and subsequent to the interview. Findings– Perceptions of institutional gang organization vary notably depending on who is reporting. In contrast with prior studies of street gangs, controlling for youth demographics and offense characteristics, the authors find no significant relationship between gang organization and violence. Research limitations/implications– The sample size is small and the data are cross-sectional. Future studies will need to be conducted in order to confirm these findings, as they contradict prior studies. The analysis of street gang organization may need to be approached differently by scholars. Originality/value– Research has not been conducted on the organizational structure of gangs in youth correctional facilities or its relationship to institutional violence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice Emerald Publishing

Gang organization and violence in youth correctional facilities

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-3841
DOI
10.1108/JCRPP-03-2015-0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to examine characteristics of gang organization in youth correctional facilities as reported by youth and staff as well as to analyze the relationship between institutional violence and level of gang organization. Design/methodology/approach– The data were collected through interviews with staff and youth in correctional facilities. Gang organization level averages are compared across youth and official perspectives, and the variability of responses among youth is also examined. Negative binomial regression models are conducted to determine the association between perceived level of gang organization and officially recorded violent behavior, both prior to and subsequent to the interview. Findings– Perceptions of institutional gang organization vary notably depending on who is reporting. In contrast with prior studies of street gangs, controlling for youth demographics and offense characteristics, the authors find no significant relationship between gang organization and violence. Research limitations/implications– The sample size is small and the data are cross-sectional. Future studies will need to be conducted in order to confirm these findings, as they contradict prior studies. The analysis of street gang organization may need to be approached differently by scholars. Originality/value– Research has not been conducted on the organizational structure of gangs in youth correctional facilities or its relationship to institutional violence.

Journal

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 13, 2016

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