A variety of environmental factors and personal reasons put youth living in urban environments at risk for gang involvement. The extreme levels of poverty and lack of employment in many urban communities causes youth in these regions to feel as if crime is the only means by which to earn the money they so desperately need and desire. An unstable home life and lack of parental supervision causes many youth look to gangs to provide the protection and sense of family they do not receive at home. A lack of emphasis placed on academics causes some youth in urban communities to do poorly in school and not make secondary education a priority. This lack of skills and education decreases not only the amount of jobs available to these youth but also prestige and earning potential. As a result of their lack of skills and education, many youth to feel that the only way to earn high salary and social status within their community is by joining a gang. The presence of gangs, violence, drugs, weapons, etc. as well as the glorification of crime and vi...
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...ore likely to get gang members to seek legitimate change because it does not require gang members to leave their gang, but instead bring an end to violence and crime. Ultimately, this program helps gang members to realize that a better life is possible if they give up their life of crime.
A variety of social and economic problems have resulted from the personal and environmental conditions in urban centers that contribute to the gang problem in the United States. The need for money and protection as well as the desire for fellowship and protection have caused countless American youth to look toward gangs to provide these things. As gangs and gang-related problems continue to grow it has become clear that the problem needs to be addressed. Scared Straight Programs and providing employment opportunities are two possible solutions to the gang issue in the United States.
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