This title examines one of the world's critical issues, gangs. Readers will learn the historical background of this issue, leading up to its current and future impact on society. Early U.S. gangs, such as the Mafia, are discussed, as well as the formation of large gangs throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. Violent gang rivalry is discussed, as well as law enforcement related to gang activity. Reasons young people join gangs are addressed, and programs for at-risk youth are covered. Engaging text, informative sidebars, and color photographs present information realistically, leaving readers with a thorough, honest interpretation of gangs. Features include a timeline, facts, additional resources, Web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Essential Issues is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.