The Boston Globe quotes John Hagedorn, UIC professor of criminology, law, and justice, in an article about the impact of gentrification in the East Boston neighborhood. Hagedorn discusses gang activity in changing urban neighborhoods.
John Hagedorn, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor and author whose recent book, “The Insane Chicago Way,” chronicled 1990 gang wars there, said young people can be left vulnerable and hopeless when they are displaced from their homes — and that’s when opportunistic street gangs can pounce.
“Gangs are all about the lack of hope in traditional mobility. If those avenues aren’t there, the gangs are going to get stronger,” Hagedorn said.
In Chicago, he said, Puerto Rican neighborhoods displaced by gentrification soon became hotbeds of gang activity.
With neighborhoods unsettled, Hagedorn said, kids were bouncing from school to school. Their futures were suddenly uncertain. The gangs grew in strength.