Moroccan Street Youth: Gangs or Victims of Assimilation?

Frank Van Gemert, Regioplan
J.D.A. De Jong, University of Groningen
Mark S. Fleisher, Illinois State University

Field research conducted in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, investigated Moroccan street youth. Moroccan youth between the ages of 12 and 21 are arrested for more street crime than youth of any other nationality in Amsterdam. This research had the purpose of determining if Moroccan street youth could be classified as a youth gang in the American sense of the term. Multiple perceptions about Moroccan youth were gathered in informal and semi-structured interviews with business, school, and government personnel, including the Amsterdam police department's gang unit. One outcome of this research was to propose policy interventions that would likely be effective in complex, multi-national neighborhoods. Another outcome was to determine if the term gang should be applied to Moroccan street youth. This research was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Justice.

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Updated 05/20/2006