The University of Wisconsin Press


Criminology / Sociology / Anthropology / Children


Dead End Kids
Gang Girls and the Boys They Know
Mark S. Fleisher


"A compelling tale of urban misery and dashed hope."—Donna Gaines, Village Voice Literary Supplement

"Most of society has given up on these girls. Dead End Kids shows us why this is a tragic mistake."—Elizabeth Mehren, national correspondent, Los Angeles Times

Dead End Kids exposes both the depravity and the humanity in gang life through the eyes of a teenaged girl named Cara, a member of a Kansas City gang. In this shocking yet compassionate account, Mark Fleisher shows how gang girls' lives are shaped by poverty, family disorganization, and parental neglect.

"A lively, compelling tale of urban misery and dashed hope, Fleisher's work humanizes gang girls and identifies the psychological, cultural, and social forces that condemn the distaff side of America's [gangs] to their dead-end lives."—Donna Gaines, Village Voice Literary Supplement

"Fleisher aptly describes the economic and social pressures that contribute to gang formation, youth violence, teen pregnancy, and other social ills plaguing U.S. cities." —Vanessa Bush, Booklist

"I recommend it to all who want to understand the dynamics of inner-city life and the reasons that current crime and poverty programs cannot succeed. If middle-class America could digest its core ideas, dramatic changes in policy might result." —Jim Quinn, Law and Politics Book Review

Mark S. Fleisher is a cultural anthropologist and criminal ethnographer, a former administrator in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and an associate professor of criminal justice sciences at Illinois State University. He is the author of the award-winning Beggars and Thieves: Lives of Urban Street Criminals, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and of Warehousing Violence.

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cover of Dead End Kids is black with yellow lettering and featuring a black and white photo of a teenage boy and girl.

October 1998
LC: 98-015537 HV
296 pp. 6 x 9

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"Dead End Kids is an important and exceptional study. Anyone who cares about young people should read it and feel compelled to take action."
—Jody Miller, Chicago Tribune

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