Getting Out: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Positive Change (Paperback)

Getting Out: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Positive Change Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


For eight years Keith Morton codirected a safe-space program for youth involved in gang or street violence in Providence, Rhode Island. Getting Out is a result of the innovative perspectives he developed as he worked alongside staff from a local nonviolence institute to help these young people make life-affirming choices. Rather than view their violence as pathological, Morton explains that gang members are victims of violence, and the trauma they have experienced leads them to choose violence as the most meaningful option available. To support young people as they "unlearned" violence and pursued nonviolent alternatives, he offered what he calls a "Youth Positive" approach that prioritizes healing over punishment and recognizes them as full human beings. Informed by deep personal connections with these youth, Morton contends that to help them, we need to change our question from "What is wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"

About the Author

KEITH MORTON is professor of public and community service studies at Providence College.

Praise For…

"Morton develops innovative theories and practices based on his years of interactions with urban youth. Getting Out will appeal to a wide and varied audience that includes practitioners and academics in many fields, policymakers, and social service and youth workers."—Myrna Margulies Breitbart, editor of Creative Economies in Post-Industrial Cities: Manufacturing a (Different) Scene

"Morton's 'Youth Positive' approach is unique in the scholarship, but it is similar to what I hear street outreach workers frequently say when working with gang-involved youth. Getting Out thus feels more authentic and hopeful than much of the literature."—Laurie Ross, coauthor of Dilemmas in Youth Work and Youth Development Practice

"Morton deduces that these young peoples' lived experiences lead them to choose violence as the most meaningful option available to them. He makes a convincing argument for adopting Martin Luther King's philosophy of nonviolence as a resource for these youths, and . . . concludes with a hopeful review of organizations currently initiating positive change for similar youths across the US. This is an excellent addition to youth crime collections."—CHOICE

Product Details
ISBN: 9781625344274
ISBN-10: 1625344279
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019
Pages: 232
Language: English