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Gangs in Court Second Edition - Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc.

Gangs in Court Second Edition

$ 49.00

  • Author: Lewis Yablonsky
  • ISBN 10: 1-933264-49-7
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-933264-49-3
  • Copyright Date Ed: March 31, 2008
  • Pages: 337
  • Binding Information: Softbound
  • Size: 6 ✕ 9 Inches (US)

The gangs that exist in our society today are notorious for committing violent crimes, murder, and drug dealing. Society sees gangs as being tightly knit organizations that are out to make profits through crime sprees and drug deals. However, society's perception may not be accurate. “Gang laws" around the nation are drastically extending the prison sentences of criminals who are believed to be gang members. But how do we really know when a crime is gang-related or how involved the perpetrator was in a gang? Youths are often mistakenly identified as gang members because of where they live and with whom they associate. They are even prosecuted for being in the "wrong place at the wrong time." This mistake can add years to a person's jail time and often sends them away for life.

With over fifty years experience working with gang members in and out of prison, Dr. Lewis Yablonsky educates you on the ins and outs of the gang world. He covers the history of gangs in the United States and compares historical gang behavior to contemporary gang behavior to give you an understanding of their similarities and differences. He informs you of contemporary gang characteristics and behaviors including racial and ethnic issues, drugs, family issues, violence, emotional, psychological and social issues, gangsters as sociopaths, criminal and non-criminal gang activity, gang social structure, the roles of members within the gang, six categories of gang status, and more. He gives you relevant information on the death penalty as compared to life in prison sentences of gang members. He gives examples of the Therapeutic Community model for treating gang members sentenced to jail time. This new second edition also teaches you about the viewpoint of the prosecutor, a perspective that is seldom covered in reference works relating to the legal process in gang cases. Dr. Yablonsky also supplies you with numerous case studies, where he served as an expert witness, on notable gang-related court cases. As a defense or prosecuting attorney, police officer, psychologist, expert witness, or other professional involved with criminal cases involving gang members, you will gain invaluable insights into gangs and gang behavior and the legal process related to gang-related behavior and criminal activity.

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Topics Include:

  • History of gangs in America
  • Characteristics of contemporary gangs
  • Racial and ethnic issues
  • Criminal and non-criminal gang behavior
  • Drugs and violence
  • Social and psychological issues
  • Gang members as sociopaths
  • Gang structure
  • Roles of members
  • Six categories of gang status
  • The death penalty in gang-related cases
  • Prosecuting and defending gang-related cases
  • The expert witness in a gang-related case

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Shannon Hendrickson
SciTech Book News

In this volume meant for prosecutors and defense attorneys, Lewis Yablonsky, a psychotherapist and retired professor of criminology and sociology at California State U.-Northridge, describes the judicial processing of gangs in courts. He presents theories about criminal gang structure and behavior and how they connect to the criminal justice process. In addition, a brief history of American gangs in the criminal justice system, racial issues, and the death penalty are discussed. This edition has been updated based on his experience as an expert witness in many court cases since the first was published, many of which are summarized here. A chapter on the perspective of the prosecutor has also been added; it is a reprinted article written by the Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney.

D. Lee Gilbertson
Jounrnal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice

Lewis Yablonskys book, Gangs in Court, is a must read for anyone who may someday become part of a gang-related court proceeding. The book provides academics, trial lawyers, and law enforcement personnel with well-grounded preparation for, and knowledge about, expert witness testimony relative to gang-related cases. The author successfully conveys his knowledge in an easily readable text. The appendices provide valuable information gleaned from his experience " as a consultant and expert witness in over 150 gang-related court cases" as well as statutory law. Chapter one presents readers with an introduction to the extent of the social problem of gangs as experienced by the author and defines the concepts and theories used by the author as well as his purpose and goals for the book. Chapter two sets out a concise history of American gangs in the criminal justice system. Chapter three discusses general characteristics of contemporary street gangs as experienced by the author. Chapter 4 discusses gang racial issues as experienced by the author. Chapter five summarizes the earlier chapters and adds a list of eight criteria to determine a gang members identity. Readers may find this information useful, as several U.S. states statutory gang member identification criteria have been challenged in upper courts for not being research based. The author also discusses the concept of "imperfect self-defense" or "victim-precipitated violence". Chapter six presents several death penalty cases involving gang members. In conclusion, this book by Lewis Yablonsky, Gangs in Court, is not one of those sterile academic texts that are often written in the most objective manner possible, lacking the subjective voice of their authors and research subjects. The authors opinion and professional conclusions are found through out the work. The work is also replete with stories and excerpts from interactions with gang members. Yablonsky presents an excellent discussion of the social and psychological variables that mitigate responsibility and accountabilitywhen it comes to criminal behavior. The book is a must read for those who may find themselves in a gang-related criminal proceeding since it provides them with examples of gang related expert witness testimony that they may here in court.

Reference Research Book News
Reference Research Book News

Yablonsky, a lawyer and psychotherapist who has studied and worked with gangs for 50 years, explains that he wrote this book with the hope that sharing his experiences would contribute to a more humane and effective adjudication process for gang members. He presents relevant social-psychological theories about criminal gang structures, including his own "near-group theory." He also includes reports and analyses of cases on which he worked to demonstrate the way harsh sentencing turns marginal gang members into hardened gangsters.

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