An Encyclopedia of Gang Life from Cradle to Grave

by Laura L. Finley, Editor


More than one-third of all gang members in the United States are under the age of 18.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Gangland

October 2018


Pages 616
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics American History/General

This two-volume set integrates informative encyclopedia entries and essential primary documents to provide an illuminating overview of trends in gang membership and activity in America in the 21st century.

Gangland: An Encyclopedia of Gang Life from Cradle to Grave includes extended discussion of specific gangs; types of gangs based on ethnicity and environment (rural, suburban, and urban); recruitment and retention methods; leadership structure and other internal dynamics of various gangs; impacts of gang membership on extended family; the historical evolution of gangs in American society; depictions of gang life in popular culture; violent and nonviolent gang activities; and programs, policies, agencies, and organizations that have been crafted to combat gang activities.

In addition, the encyclopedia includes a suite of primary sources that offer a look into the personal experiences of gang members, examine efforts by law enforcement and public officials to address gang activity, and address wider societal factors that make eradicating gangs such a difficult task.


  • Comprises approximately 200 encyclopedia entries on gangs in the United States
  • Illustrates entries through 16 primary documents
  • Provides a chronology to help readers to contextualize developments related to gang activity
  • Includes a Guide to Related Topics to facilitate tangential discovery
  • Defines terms essential to understanding the subject matter of the text in a glossary
Author Info

Laura L. Finley, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and criminology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. She has edited several works on criminal justice issues, including Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia of Trends and Controversies in the Justice System and Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault in Popular Culture.



"A strong starting point for students and general readers, especially high school students doing reports."Library Journal

"The encyclopedia's convenient format and additional resources make this a valuable resource for anyone interested in gangs and their American heritage."ARBA

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Crime and Punishment in America cover imageEncyclopedia of Gangs cover imageGangs cover image
Gangland Gotham cover imageYouth Gangs in Literature cover imageMass Shootings in America cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips