A tale of two cities: Gangs as organized crime groups

Scott H. Decker, Tim Bynum, Deborah Weisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


This article examines the extent to which street gangs are becoming organized crime groups. Active gang members were asked about gang structure and organization, gang activities, and relationships between their gang and other groups. Gang members were interviewed in an emerging gang city, San Diego, and an established gang city, Chicago. Members of one African- American and one Hispanic gang were interviewed in each city. Roughly equal numbers of members were imprisoned and on probation. The results suggest that, with the exception of the Gangster Disciples in Chicago, there is little evidence that gangs are assuming the attributes of organized crime groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-425
Number of pages31
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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