Maturity levels for outlaw groups: The case of criminal street gangs
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDeviant behavior. 2016, 38 (11), 1267-1278. 10.1080/01639625.2016.1248713
The maturity of street gangs varies among groups as well as among countries where gangs are present. In this article, a four stage model for maturity is introduced to help define the threat represented by outlaw groups. Maturity models can serve several important purposes. First, a contingent approach to law enforcement implies that the police and other government agencies can apply appropriate measures. Second, law enforcement can distinguish approaches for fighting non-mature gangs versus mature gangs. Third, the evolution of gangs over time provides insights into the mechanisms that make gangs threatening to society.