Prevention of youth gang-related violence: A narrative review.

Damien John Williams, Claire Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Violence involving youths contributes significantly to premature mortality and
morbidity across the globe, through its direct impact on victim(s) and perpetrator(s), and its indirect impact on families, friends, communities, and the wider fabric of society. The factors that increase the risk of involvement of youths in violence, also increase the likelihood of youths joining "gangs", which often serve the purpose of enabling youths to fulfil their innate needs of belonging and identity, but are also associated with more frequent and severe forms of violence. In order to effectively prevent youth gang-related violence it is necessary to develop policies and programmes that address the factors that result in the perpetration and/or victimisation of such violence. Many interventions have been developed that seek to prevent youth gang-related violence, the most enlightened of which attempt to support youths in fulfilling their needs through alternative, legitimate means; however, these do not often explicitly address the group processes that underpin the expression of violence. This chapter provides a narrative review of the literature
concerning key issues in current and future attempts to prevent youth gang-related
To begin, the chapter will teasing apart the concepts of youth violence and gang
violence, which will be followed by a brief consideration of the factors that result in
youths joining gangs and the escalation of violence. Thereafter, the issue of violence
prevention will be addressed with reference to a number of youth gang-related violence programmes. Throughout, the chapter will identify barriers to youth gang-related violence prevention, and propose a number of recommendations for future policies and programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime and violence prevention
Subtitle of host publicationMoving beyond hot-stove policing and perpetrator rehabilitation
EditorsMyra Taylor, U. Khan, Julie Ann Pooley
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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