ABSTRACT

Throughout the ages adults have complained that the world “is in the biggest mess it’s ever been in” (Jensen & Rojek, 1998:5). In the United States, much of this anxiety is focused on high crime rates, and much of our crime problems are rightfully attributed to young people. Between January 1993 and January 1994, Americans’ ranking of crime and violence as the nation’s foremost problem jumped from 9 to 49 percent (Gallup, 1994). According to Chiricos (2002), this spike in public fear was a reaction to sensational media coverage about gangs and the spread of gang violence beyond the inner city and into respectable middle-class communities. This paper examines one approach to gang problems in a suburban area of Seattle.