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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

2 - Understanding Gangs in Prison


We now present a conceptual framework for the study. The first chapter laid the foundation for the book by placing prison and street gangs in the broader context of incarceration. It also established that while gang research has exploded over the past three decades, prisons unfortunately escaped the interest of most social scientists. A number of important conceptual and empirical issues remain to be addressed. We highlight four foundational issues that are central to the interconnected theoretical framework motivating the empirical analysis. Some of these issues are better established than others, but all of them merit the empirical investigation that has largely escaped our understanding of gangs and prison.