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The Lost Boyz: A Dark Side of Graffiti

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At age 14, author Justin Rollins went from being a bullied child to the leader of The Warriorz, a group of London street kids involved in graffiti tagging and other crimes, including a series of violent encounters. Eventually given a substantial custodial sentence for an attack with a meat cleaver in the London Underground, Rollins became determined to steer other young people away from such a life. The Lost Boyz tells the story of Rollins' descent into a form of madness, in which self-destruction, anger, wanton behavior, and fear reside at the core. Never has a book taken the reader so far inside the minds of troubled youths who gradually realize that there is no easy escape from their chaotic lifestyle. Their need - to gain respect from and stay credible with each other - stems from offending, alienation, living on the margins of society, and crazy behavior, all of which serve as barriers to rejoining the normal world and going straight. The book contains countless lessons for young people who might be attracted to crime. It will also interest students and researchers of youth offending, gang culture, criminology, mental health issues, or modern social history where graffiti became a telling symbol of disaffected youth.

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