In Section I we
explored the nature of gangs. In Section II our attention focuses on how the
various social institutions in gang communities respond to their presence.
Ideally, at the heart of every community is the individual in a
family setting. Immediately outside the family is the neighborhood and the
community in which it is found. Then, in a kind of radiating circle,
come the various social institutions to which the individual may belong and
which provide for the many needs of the collective that is the community.
Among these institutions are education (the schools), faith groupings,
commerce (the business community), social services,
health care, the justice system, government, and the media. These
are the social institutions I want to explore in terms of their
relationship to the gang phenomenon.
What follows are my own observations on how various social
institutions in the research cities were responding to the gang situation
accompanied by quotes from the literature and the observations of my