Video: How a Utah gang member became a college prof
Published: February 7, 2013 12:37PM
Updated: February 7, 2013 12:36PM
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Tribune crime editor Nate Carlisle, left, interviews New Mexico State University associate professor Robert Duran on Feb. 6, 2013. Duran has written a book about his study of gangs and life as a gang member.

At age 16, Robert J. Durán joined a street gang in Ogden.

For many, such a choice means eventually going to prison or dying an early death. But Durán stopped participating in gangs and began studying them and the police and societal response to gangs.

Durán, now an associate professor of criminal justice at New Mexico State University, has written a book that is part memoir and part academic journal. The book from Columbia University Press is called “Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey.”

Durán participated in a video chat with Tribune crime co-editor Nate Carlisle to discuss his book and gangs in Utah. Some of what he says reflects worse upon the police and Utah culture than it does the gang members.