Policy Implications of the Changing Juvenile Gang Dynamics in Durham, North Carolina

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Across the country, juvenile gang membership has increased in places which don’t quite fit the mold of a conventional gang city. Durham, North Carolina is just such a place: a mid-sized city in the south with a tobacco manufacturing history and a reputation for good music. For the past couple decades, however, the city has also gained notoriety as a regional center of gang activity. Conventionally, the reason why juvenile gang membership concerns policymakers is crime, and typically rates of juvenile gang involvement are correlative to rates of juvenile crime. Yet what happens when these trends begin to diverge? This is the question that has been puzzling Durham policymakers since 2009: despite notable successes at reducing crime, juvenile gang membership has increased, raising a number of questions. If juvenile gang membership does not necessarily increase crime in a city, then should is still matter from a policy perspective? This thesis explores these recent developments in Durham and seeks to evaluate the ways in which juvenile gang membership should impact public safety policy.





Paddock, Ellen (2014). Policy Implications of the Changing Juvenile Gang Dynamics in Durham, North Carolina. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8367.

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