"The 1980's saw an increase in youth gang violence and the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic. The public linked these two developments, often with implications of cause and effect. Conventional wisdom, however, is not always reliable. Viewed through the lens of public perception rather than that of scientific knowledge, the relationships among youth gangs, drugs, and violence are more often talked about than understood. In The Youth Gangs, Drugs, and Violence Connection, James Howell and Scott Decker add to our understanding of the interrelationships of these factors and address relevant questions such as the following: 'Is drug trafficking a main activity of youth gangs?' 'Is drug trafficking a major cause of violence in youth gangs?' 'Are there other important sources of youth gang violence?' The authors make critical distinctions between drug gangs and street gangs that further enhance our understanding of the gang phenomenon, as does their exploration of the connections between youth gangs and adult criminal organizations and the role of firearms in gang violence."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/