In the past two decades, many prevention and suppression programs have been initiated on a national and local level to combat street gangs--but what do we really know about them? Why do youths join them? Why do they proliferate? Street Gang Patterns and Policies is a crucial update and critical examination of our understanding of gangs and major gang-control programs across the nation. Often perceived solely as an urban issue, street gangs are also a suburban and rural dilemma. Klein and Maxson focus on gang proliferation, migration, and crime patterns, and highlight known risk factors that lead to youths form and join gangs within communities. Dispelling the long-standing assumptions that the public, the media, and law enforcement have about street gangs, they present a comprehensive overview of how gangs are organized and structured. The authors assess the major gang programs across the nation and argue that existing prevention, intervention, and suppression methods targeting individuals, groups, and communities, have been largely ineffective. Klein and Maxson close by offering valuable policy guidelines for practitioners on how to intervene and control gangs more successfully. Filling an important gap in the literature on street gangs and social control, this book is a must-read for criminologists, social workers, policy makers, and criminal justice practitioners.