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Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption
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Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
When Jorja Leap began studying Los Angeles gang violence in 2002, she encountered a myriad of proposed solutions to the seemingly intractable “gang problem” and set out to discover what was really going on. The stakes—then and now—could not be higher: a child or teenager is killed by gunfire every three hours—and homicide is the leading cause of death for African American ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Mar 09, 2015 Lynda rated it it was ok
As a 3rd generation native-Los Angeleno, I grew up watching the progeneration of L.A. gangs and have always been fascinated by their culture. I was so spoiled reading "Tattoos on the Heart," Father Boyle's book, since his love for the homies and his spectacular writing makes it a great read, that I wanted more. Unfortunately, Jumped In by Jorja Leap does not deliver. I'm 1/3 of the way through and tempted to put it down. She's repeatedly self-congratulatory, but that's not the worst offense: On ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Renee rated it liked it
Really good overview and some background of the gang situation in LA. Jorja Leap provides history of different gangs, focuses on members who have tried to leave and what often causes them to get involved with gangs again. Different approaches to preventing/stopping gang violence are discussed too. Jorja also pulls in pieces of her personal life and relates them to different events or stories in the book. If you're looking for an interesting, moving and concise book about gang life this is a grea ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Christina rated it liked it
The book is uneven. Leap indulges too much into her own life, which isn't that interesting. Her tone is a little too full of herself at times. Midway, the book changes into simply relating gang members lives.
Jorja explains what her adult life has been like since leaving academia in pursuit of more authentic voices of gang culture and violence. After being in Bosnia doing crisis intervention, she taught at UCLA, did gang studies, then married into the LAPD which brought a daughter along with it, and wanted to really learn what gang life was like by visiting, lunching, walking, and talking with some reformed and current gang members from both the black and Latino gangs in Los Angeles and by definition ...more
Aug 09, 2012 Amy marked it as to-read
I have not yet read this book, but I have read a little of the introduction, and look forward to read it.

I suggest you also read the excellent book "Tattoos on the Heart," by Gregory Boyle (Father Greg) as a companion to this book by Jorja Leap.
If you want to buy these books I suggest you do so through Homeboy Industries, because it will also help support the work they do there.

Today I received this message from Homeboy Industries, an organization I support.

"Our lo
Alyce Rocco
Aug 06, 2012 Alyce Rocco marked it as gave-up-on
Seeing the title: Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me About Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption by Jorja Leap showing an image of a tattooed man facing a wall, I made an assumption that this book was written by a former gang member.

It starts "I cannot say exactly when I saw my first dead body." That first chapter held my interest. I learned that the book was not penned by a former gang member but by a woman who studied Los Angeles gang violence.

I began to lose interest in the story as Leap began
Richard A.
Jul 30, 2015 Richard A. rated it really liked it
An eye opening account of the danger all youth have surrounding them growing up in Los Angeles. Author Leap, a researcher, reveals her own personal story of compassion working directly with gang members.
Jamecelle Ventura
Mar 26, 2012 Jamecelle Ventura rated it it was amazing
Jorja has written what I can easily call one of my favorite books. Not only do I love the story, but the fact that all proceeds go to Homeboy Indistries completely won me over. This book does something no other book has done, which is to listen to theose who have not been listened to. The work, passion, and dedication needed to create a book such as this one cannot be matched.

I have not been able to put this book down. During the weekend of reading, I literally only put the book down to eat and
Katharine Rudnyk
Jul 12, 2013 Katharine Rudnyk rated it liked it
At jury duty, I was asked what do you think about gangs? I said I didn't know what a gang really was. Growing up on an Air Force Base, I was blind to that side of American's culture. I am reading this book, and sprinkled into a scrambled eggs is a little salt and pepper, the author shares her own opinion and personal story of family and life are facts about gangs in Los Angeles. Thus, it is a Greek woman viewing through a snow globe and seeing the world of gangs as they behave. Being a different ...more
Jessi Dean-Stanke
As a M.S.W student this book was inspiration. I once saw Father Greg Boyle, (founder of Homeboy Industries) speak and he said all they really want is someone who listens, Jorja Leap displayed through her writing the art of listening. It calls the needed attention to war on the streets. Jorja does not criminalize and does not preach a remedy, but instead she listens and searches for meaning in order to portray this message to the rest of the world. I believe the world, our society, needs to hear ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Leanna rated it liked it
Interesting book. LA gangs described through the eyes of a UCLA researcher.
Jun 04, 2013 Dave rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture
I saw Dr. Leap speak at an event in Boston, and she is passionate, practical, and empathetic. Her voice comes across clearly in this book of her experiences integrating into the gang culture in Los Angeles in order to study why young people join gangs and how to help them get out. The book is more narrative than a data mine, although there are some indications of research; this is Leap's recounting of her own experiences, not necessarily a policy guide.
Virginia Walter
Sep 11, 2012 Virginia Walter rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Part memoir and part anthropological field notes, the book tells a lot about the gangs of Los Angeles and one white woman who learned a lot about them. I was surprised at how little has changed in the basic culture of the Latino gangs since I knew the White Fence guys in Boyle Heights back in the late 1970s, and I understand Leap's affection for the young people she came to know so well.
Jul 04, 2012 Fawn rated it liked it
I thought this book would be more of an informative novel and was suprised by the amount of personal information author shared about her own relationship. I found myself getting annoyed at her details about her own life as I picked the book up to learn more about gangs and the struggles of members. That being said I flew threw it and enjoyed it still.
Aude Lising
Aug 20, 2012 Aude Lising rated it did not like it
Very hard to get through this platter of self-serving, self-congratulatory drivel. Couldn't get myself to want to finish this, I gave up 1/3 of the way through. Then again, I went in expecting to read an anthropological study, not a memoir, so that's my own damn fault.
Jul 08, 2012 Brenna rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very interesting book. It has helped me understand gang culture more. It doesn't offer answers, just snippets. I wanted to know more, but it was still very enlightening. Both and inside and outside perspective.
Oct 12, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
It took me longer than expected to finish reading this book. As a social worker I enjoy these topics, but various chapters felt rushed with missing pieces. It could have been written better.
Matt Hill
Jan 21, 2014 Matt Hill rated it it was ok
Shelves: half-read
not what i wanted it to be . . not enough inside details on the lives of the people in question . . and way too much inside details on just the author herself . . couldn't read far .
May 24, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing
The author gives her first hand experience of working with gangs. This book left me wanting to help this population and visit Homeboy Industries as a start. I couldn't put the book down!
Beth Hallmark
Aug 23, 2013 Beth Hallmark rated it really liked it
Learned alot about gang life and that I should not presume to truly know someone by the group they hang out with. Very touching and grateful for the perspective change.
Sep 08, 2013 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true
So far this is an amazing book!
Jan 12, 2016 James rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic!
K-La rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2016
Brittany Jackson
Brittany Jackson marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2016
D.funk added it
Jul 13, 2016
Martine Singer
Martine Singer rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2016
Ciara Doherty
Ciara Doherty marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2016
Nowel Guindie
Nowel Guindie rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2016
Krystina marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
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