This presentation sharesthe results of a major study of prison gangs and gang members in Texas.There is much speculation about prison gangs, but little solid research. In 2016, a multi-university teamfunded by the National Institute of Justice carried out the most comprehensive and systematic study to date on the topic. Interviews with 802 prisoners, half of whom were classified as gang members,explored a range of issues related to gangs in prison. Dr. David Pyrooz discusses issues on thecharacteristics of gang members, the organizational structure of gangs, the role of gangs in the socialorder of prisons, intra- and inter-gang relations, misconduct and violence, and how inmates join andleave gangs in prison. The presentation will conclude with the implications of these findings forpolicies, practices, and programs to respond to gangs.
Dr. David Pyrooz, University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. David Pyrooz is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is also a faculty associate in the Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program in the Institute of Behavioral Science. He received the BS and MS in Criminology from California State University, Fresno, and the PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Arizona State University in 2012. Prior to joining the Department of Sociology in 2015, he was a faculty member in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. He was the 2015 recipient of the inaugural New Scholar Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the 2016 recipient of the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar award from the American Society of Criminology. He is the co-author of Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community (Oxford), the co-editor of The Wiley Handbook of Gangs (Wiley-Blackwell), and the author of a National Institute of Justice white paper on the relationship between gang affiliation and restrictive housing in U.S. prisons.