Why is it so Difficult to Reduce Community Violence? The Challenges of Street Culture, Delinquent Peer Networks and Gangs
Although long-term, national trends in violent crime indicate we are at historic lows, some urban neighborhoods, such as those in North Philadelphia, still suffer from disproportionately high levels of shootings and violence. Crime reduction initiatives come and go, with little dent in the homicide numbers. This presentation will outline the challenges facing urban neighborhoods where the street code of violence is high and youth often remain loyal to their anti-social peers. The presentation draws on a study with Philadelphia street gang members that sought to understand the dynamics of street crime and group violence, and how social networks might impede or facilitate withdrawal from crime and gangs. The presentation will also discuss the study’s implications for policy and practice.