Gangs, Groups and Crime looks at the rapidly growing problem of youth crime using data gathered from those who are positioned to best address the problem of collective youth crimes at some specific level — informative, operational or administrative. Law enforcement professionals from police and sheriff's departments were interviewed, as well as those involved in youth services such as court counselors, correctional officers and educators.
Respondents addressed four broad areas: the perceived scope and nature of the problems, the perceived causes of the problems, the effectiveness of prevention and intervention strategies, and their organizations' responses to problems. The resulting data shows a strong perception that the youth gang and group problems have become more serious and widespread in recent years, largely due to the prevalence of drug-related activities and the growing presence of non-indigenous groups.
Using North Carolina as a case study, Oehme looks at youth involvement in criminal activities and at the differing characteristics between gangs and groups. Special attention is paid to identifying what locations experienced perceived or actual youth crime problems and determining the form in which the problems were manifested. The book also compares and contrasts the characteristics and activities of youth gangs with those of other crime-oriented groups. Overlaying these issues is the question of how various organizations respond to the problems of youth crime and violence.