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Deterring gangs : Criminal justice approaches and psychological influences

Wood, Jane L. and Alleyne, Emma and Beresford, Hayley (2016) Deterring gangs : Criminal justice approaches and psychological influences. In: Advances in psychology and law. Advances in Psychology and Law, 2 . Springer, pp. 305-336. ISBN 978-3-319-43082-9. E-ISBN 978-3-319-43083-6. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43083-6_10) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43083-6_10

Abstract

In spite of criminal justice efforts to deter gang membership, gangs appear to be flourishing. This leaves justice systems struggling to devise effective strategies to deter gangs and reduce their impact on communities. This chapter outlines a number of gang deterrence strategies employed by the USA and UK and offers psychological explanations as to why they may not be effective. It begins by examining the theoretical perspectives of general and individual deterrence. It then evaluates the deterrence effects of suppression, and multi-faceted anti-gang programs along with the impact of policies such as gang injunctions and joint enterprise on gang membership. The chapter then moves on to consider some of the psychological explanations as to why criminal justice anti-gang tactics may be ineffective. It considers the need of gang members to forge an identity and how identifying with a gang can impact on members’ behavior. It outlines how pluralistic ignorance may underpin members’ adherence to a gang’s social norms, how members’ ability to morally disengage may ameliorate their feelings of cognitive dissonance, and how group commitment and cohesion may be constructed. The role of reputation and status enhancement are also explored as influential in gang members’ responses to deterrence strategies, and it is considered how deterrence strategies may backfire to foster an oppositional culture in gang members. The chapter concludes by calling for more psychological research into how group processes in gang membership may inoculate gang members from even the most concerted criminal justice efforts to deter them.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-319-43083-6_10
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre of Research & Education in Forensic Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Emma Alleyne
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2015 18:23 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:23 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51907 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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