Into The Abyss:
A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs

by Mike Carlie, Ph.D.        
© 2002
Michael K. Carlie
Continually updated.

~ Table of Contents ~
Home | Foreword | Preface | Orientation

What I Learned | Conclusions
End Note |
| Appendix
Site Map / Contents
| New Research

Up-To-Date Gang-Related News

 ~ Foreword ~
by Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank Schmalleger


Every once in a while a work comes along that redefines the field of academic criminal justice. Mike Carlie’s Into the Abyss is such a work.

Into the Abyss is an electronic book that provides an excellent overview of gangs and the American gang phenomenon. More than that, however, it offers an amazingly effective presentation of the wealth of existing gang literature, all in one convenient, organized, and easy to access location.


Dr. Mike Carlie

Into the Abyss is a powerful multi-level information resource. At one level, it is a personal account of the author’s experiences over a four year period of riding with police gang units and interviewing youth gang members.

Dr. Carlie knows his subject matter as only those with first-hand experience can. Into the Abyss provides a cogent analysis of gangs and gang behavior that takes the form of a well-written, deeply-insightful and wide-ranging description of gang-related issues both in the United States and elsewhere.

There is also an important second level to this book. At this higher level Into the Abyss serves as an active data-rich information portal for anyone wanting to know more about youth gangs and gang-related happenings. While browsing any topic in the text readers have easy one-click access to a wealth of related knowledge. In-depth coverage comes in the form of over 2,300 external Internet links through which readers can retrieve a complete, up-to-date, and ever-expanding library of gang-related literature.

Twenty-five hyperlinked chapters, a comprehensive glossary, a guide to street drugs, resources for teachers, a comprehensive listing of funding for gang-related research, a complete bibliography of juvenile justice and gang literature (much of it viewable in full text format), a list of gang-themed commercial motion pictures, links to gang-related legislation, a full description of the history of alcohol abuse and prohibition in the United States, newspaper resources about gangs, and a rap dictionary, combined with constant updates of online content make Into the Abyss a living, breathing work of high value to anyone interested in gangs and their control.

By bringing together a vast wealth of information on juvenile justice and gangs, and placing it all within easy reach, Dr. Carlie’s book has the potential to change the way in which we learn, and how we teach.

As the justice field continues to evolve, more study aids will take advantage of expanding technologies. But Into the Abyss, in boldly showing what’s possible now, will set the pace for some time to come. I don’t think there is a better or more comprehensive gang resource available anywhere in the world today.

Into the Abyss presages what is to come ... a new general-purpose language, called Resource Description Framework (RDF), that is being developed by a number of organizations, including the World Wide Web Consortium in support of what’s being called the “Semantic Web.”1

Into the Abyss is a information-rich gang Resource Description Framework that is already here. Made possible by advances in information technology that have occurred over the past ten-years, and given life through its author’s vision, Into the Abyss has become a first-of-its-kind electronic learning framework that demonstrates to the criminal justice community the possibilities for teaching and learning inherent in Web-based technologies. That Dr. Carlie has turned such possibilities into reality makes him an important pioneer in the field of criminal justice information technology.


1. For more information on RDF see: See David M. Ewalf, "The Next Web," Information, October 14, 2002. Accessed October 14, 2002.


About Dr. Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank Schmalleger is a Professor Emeritus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Director of the Justice Research Association. He is the author of many publications including our nation's leading introductory criminal justice textbook Criminal Justice Today (now in its 7th edition), Corrections in the 21st Century, Criminal Justice A Brief Introduction, Criminal Law Today, and Criminology Today.

In addition to the widely used texts mentioned above, Dr. Schmalleger is the author of:

bulletCanadian Criminology Today 
(with Rebecca Volk, Prentice Hall, 2001)
bulletCanadian Criminal Justice Today 
(with David MacAlister, Paul F. McKenna, and John Winterdyk, Prentice Hall Canada, 2001)
bulletCrime and the Justice System in America: An Encyclopedia 
(Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997)
bulletTrial of the Century: People of the State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson 
(Prentice Hall, 1996)
bulletComputers in Criminal Justice 
(Wyndham Hall Press, 1991)
bulletCareer Paths: A Guide to Jobs in Federal Law Enforcement 
(Regents/Prentice Hall, 1994)
bulletCriminal Justice Ethics 
(Greenwood Press, 1991)
bulletFinding Criminal Justice in the Library 
(Wyndham Hall Press, 1991)
bulletEthics in Criminal Justice 
(Wyndham Hall Press, 1990)
bulletA History of Corrections 
(Foundations Press of Notre Dame, 1983)
bulletThe Social Basis of Criminal Justice 
(University Press of America, 1981).

Dr. Schmalleger also created and maintains the CYBRARY - The World's Criminal Justice Directory. If there's a topic related to juvenile or criminal justice, you'll probably find it here and, with it, links to many useful sites on the Internet.

Dr. Schmalleger is a member of the Advisory Board of APB News Online, an innovative criminal justice Web-based news service. He is founder and co-director of the Criminal Justice Distance Learning Consortium, a project of the The Justice Research Association and the founding editor of the journal The Justice Professional. He serves as editor for the Prentice Hall series Criminal Justice in the Twenty-first Century, and as Imprint Advisor for Greenwood Publishing Group’s criminal justice reference series.

For more about Dr. Schmalleger, please explore his vita

Please begin this book by reading the brief Preface.
It explains the technology of the book and how to use it.
The book also provides a Site Map, an interactive
listing of all the topics discussed in the book.

© 2002 Michael K. Carlie
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the author and copyright holder - Michael K. Carlie.