Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota
Newsletter or Bulletin
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While youth gang involvement nationally is believed to be on the rise, few policies and services are in place to address this issue, leaving primary responsibility to law enforcement. The focus of such responses shift quickly to deterrence and suppression strategies, tactics aimed at reducing crimes committed by gangs. These strategies alone are typically unsuccessful. This article describes a community-based participatory research project investigating the presence and activities of youth gangs in one Native American tribal community in the Midwest. Findings regarding demographics, law enforcement, community perceptions, school and student perceptions, and community resources are presented. Analysis reveals evidence that gang involvement should be seen not only as a result of risk and protective factors in the lives of young people but also as a youth response to multiple, pervasive social factors, including poverty, historical trauma, and continuing racism—what we are beginning to name “social determinants” of youth gang activity. We include recommendations for youth and community response to social determinants.
The research upon which this article is based was supported by a grant from CURA's Faculty Interactive Research Program. The program was created to encourage University faculty to conduct research with community organizations and collaborators on issues of public policy importance for the state and community. These grants are available to regular faculty at the University of Minnesota and are awarded annually on a competitive basis.
University of Minnesota: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Roholt, Ross VeLure; Johnston-Goodstar, Katie; Eubanks, Don.
The Social Determinants of Native Youth Gang Involvement.
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
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