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Street Gangs

Gang Involvement

❶They think if they don't say it, then it's not happening" cited in Arinde, , p. In Shelby County Tennessee alone, there are approximately known gangs and approximately 10,00 known gang members.

I. Introduction

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Innocent people become victims to gang violence, just so that the members can get a laugh. They do not care what they are doing to the persons family. Gangs are terrible because not only because they kill people, but they destroy homes, intimidate teens into joining their gangs, innocent people become victims, and even the gangs members are in danger because they get killed if they try to get out because they know too much information on what the gang has done.

In Shelby County Tennessee alone, there are approximately known gangs and approximately 10,00 known gang members. This number needs to be decreased because it is ruining our country because the people around the gangs live in fear for their families safety and their lives. Anybody can be a random target for gangs so therefore nobody is safe in this world. Gangs also cause an increase in the juvenile crime rate. Gang members often but aside their education because it interferes with the gangs objectives.

Those gang members who are not killed usually began to abuse alcohol and drugs. They also develop police records that limit their chances of a good job in the future. People join gangs because they feel that it gives them some sort of identity. Being part of a gang causes the member to achieve a certain status that is not available outside of the gang.

Another reason why people join gangs is because they live in a gang area and can be targeted by other gangs. They feel that if they join a gangs they will have some type of support if they are attacked by a rival gang.

Some people are forced to join gangs by being intimidated because the members feel it will help their criminal activity. Others join just so they can intimidate others not involved in a gang. Gangs try to start a confrontation with rival gangs in parks or at parties and the result of the violence usually claims innocent victims. Gangs also vandalize property in the form of graffiti and the destruction of public and private property.

This decreases property value in residential neighborhoods and has a negative effect on industrial and commercial areas. The paper concludes by exploring various experts' proposals for reducing the amount of youth joining gangs in America. American youth becoming involved in gangs is not a new phenomenon. The first documented youth gang was in the late s in New York, so gangs have been part of American culture for well over two centuries Arinde, , p.

Most of the youth who get involved with gangs come from poor neighborhoods in large cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. Seals expresses the general consensus on gangs thus:.

For the past 80 years, ethnographic research has linked the behavioral patterns of the urban under-privileged to street gang formation and proliferation. This literature shows that gang activity is most common among impoverished young males and concludes that gang participation is the manifestation of greater societal pressures on these individuals p. Kingsbury also notes that "gangs are perpetuated by a cycle of despair that is nearly impossible to break," and gives us a revealing statistic.

Since the s, gang-related homicide has been the main cause of death for young black men between the ages of 15 and 34 p.

There are of course historical reasons that many African Americans ended up in impoverished big-city ghettos where gangs proliferate, but gangs are by no means only a phenomenon among African Americans. Gangs arise from every ethnicity in America, and we should examine some studies and reliable statistics in order to get a clearer picture of the problem of gangs in America.

Obtaining a clear picture can be difficult, however. Kingsbury points out that "gauging the true scope of the gang problem is difficult, chiefly because law enforcement lacks a common definition of a gangster or what makes a particular crime gang-related" p.

Captain Eric Adams, who has worked for years in New York City law enforcement, points out an additional problem in gathering accurate information on gangs. He asserts that, in New York, "The police department won't properly classify certain crimes as gang-related, and so you don't know if there is an increase or decrease in the crime rate … It's a public relations exercise. They think if they don't say it, then it's not happening" cited in Arinde, , p.

An important study that attempts to gather accurate information on gang activity in America is known as the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth NLSY97 , which began collecting data annually from That study gives the following definition for the concept of gang-involvement:. By gangs, we mean a group that hangs out together, wears gang colors or clothes, has set clear boundaries of its territory or turf, protects its members and turf against other rival gangs through fighting or threats cited in Seals, , p.

According to an estimate by the FBI, around , gang members operate in the U. Seals gives a similar estimate on the number of gang members in the U.

Citing other researchers, Seals observes that gangs are probably the main distributors of all illegal drugs, and most adolescents who commit murders in American cities are members of gangs p. Voisin writes, "male adolescents were equally as likely as female adolescents to belong to a gang" p.

There has also been a significant increase in the female violent crime rate in the United States. In , "the male Violent Crime Index rate was 8. Their conclusion is that female adolescents have been "closing the gap with male adolescents in terms of being arrested and committing more violent crimes. In this original study, Voisin finds that "female adolescents were more likely to witness family violence, suggesting that for some of these girls, being raised in a dysfunctional family, coupled with community violence, may play some role in their gang involvement" p.

There is also a relationship between youth being arrested and youth being part of gangs, though the number of arrested youth who belong to gangs is difficult to estimate.


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Gang Involvement. This paper gives in-depth information on gang activity in the U.S. and explores the causes of gang membership and examines several studies that have found correlations between gang membership and various life circumstances.

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GTLS is an international English language school in Canada offering English classes to International students along with local activities and trips. This sample research paper on street gangs features: + words (25 pages), an outline, APA format in-text citations, and a bibliography with 47 sources.