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God's GangsBarrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery$
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Edward Orozco Flores

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781479850099

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479850099.001.0001

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Recovery from Gang Life

Recovery from Gang Life

Two Models of Faith and Reintegration

(p.88) 3 Recovery from Gang Life
God's Gangs

Edward Orozco Flores

NYU Press

This chapter builds upon the body of literature on segmented assimilation and religion by examining how two urban American ministries facilitated immigrant-origin Latino recovery from gangs in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Despite declining middle-class work opportunities, religion provided gang members the social support and resources necessary to leave gang life behind. Two contrasting models of social reintegration sheltered recovering gang members from gang life, and encouraged them to achieve conventional markers of success, such as employment, home ownership, and marriage. The first ministry, Victory Outreach, facilitated gang recovery by creating rigid social boundaries between the church and the broader local community. Homeboy Industries on the other hand facilitated gang recovery by maintaining and rearticulating porous boundaries between itself and the community. In examining the two faith-based approaches to gang recovery, the chapter also builds on Omar McRoberts' Streets of Glory (2003) and his 2002 Urban Institute report.

Keywords:   segmented assimilation, religion, American ministries, gang recovery, Latino gangs, social support, Victory Outreach, Homeboy Industries, Omar McRoberts, Streets of Glory

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