The problem of juvenile delinquency and juvenile gangs is now a global issue. Gang members do not stay in a single geographic area; they have been shown to migrate to other cities, states, and countries. Most juvenile delinquency, as exemplified by juvenile gangs, is a group phenomenon. Gang members are responsible for many serious and violent crimes. Yet one technique, guided group interaction, has been shown to have great promise in dealing with gang delinquency. Successful guided group interaction is when members of a community assume responsibility for their own and each others' successes and failures, problem solve by speaking honestly and frankly in small groups for which they have responsibility (monitored and guided by staff), and effectively assume political governance of their community. This study examines the effective use of guided group interaction with individuals who initially hold deviant attitudes and beliefs and have committed serious crimes. Specifically, it focuses on a population of incarcerated male juvenile delinquents, 60% of whom are gang members, at a placement facility that utilizes the technique, as their major rehabilitation strategy. The successful use of this technique offers not only a reduction in gang delinquency and future criminal behaviors, but also hope for sustainability.
|Keywords:||Juvenile Delinquency, Guided Group Interaction, Therapeutic Community, Juvenile Gangs|
Professor of Sociology and Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of La Verne, La Verne, California, USA
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