Irving A. Spergel (A.B. Social Sciences, City College of New York, 1946; A.M. Social Work, University of Illinois, 1952; Ph.D. Social Work, Columbia University, 1960), is a groundbreaking researcher of youth gangs and juvenile delinquency.
Through his work with communities and gang youths, Spergel developed a national model for the suppression of gangs and prevention of youth gang violence. Bringing together communities, law enforcement, social agencies, and government organizations, the "Spergel Model" emphasizes community organization, social and legal intervention, and organizational development. Spergel has also written over 100 books and articles, including Racketville, Slumtown, Haulburg: An Exploratory Study of Delinquent Subcultures (1964); Community Problem Solving: The Delinquency Example (1969); and the seminal The Youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach (1995).
Spergel joined the faculty of the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration in 1960. He has also held appointments in the Department of Sociology. He is now the George Herbert Jones Professor Emeritus of the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. In 2006, he was honored with the SSA symposium "What Works: Addressing the Community Youth Gang Problem in the United States."
From the guide to the Spergel, Irving A. Papers, 1937-1997, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)