16th July 2012
Among the Hoods describes Harriet Sergeant’s friendship with a teenage gang, and in particular the gang leader Tuggy Tug. This began when Harriet was researching her Centre for Policy Studies report on why so many black Caribbean and white working class boys are being failed.
Over the next three years, Harriet became more and more involved with the boys. All the well-known issues – single mothers, absent fathers, lack of education and social mobility, the criminal justice system – suddenly took on new meaning as she met not just Tuggy Tug and his gang but their relatives and friends.
The book describes a dramatic three years. By the end, Tuggy Tug was found guilty of committing over a hundred street robberies. He and two other gang members have been in prison, one is in mental hospital and one appears to be a successful criminal. She describes how the friendship changed her; and investigates the forces that turn potentially decent young men into misfits and criminals.
As Britain faces the first anniversary of the riots, this book is required reading.
Two-thirds of the earnings from Among the Hoods will go to help rehabilitate disadvantaged boys like Tuggy Tug and their families.
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