Preventing Violent Crime: Stopping Gang Membership

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Introduction: Every year in the United States there are over one million violent crimes that occur. Of those one million violent crimes, an average of forty eight percent of them have been associated with gangs or individual gang members. (FBI) The gangs that are producing these high violent crime rates are not concentrated in one area but rather spread throughout the hearts of cities all across the country. In addition these gangs are not stagnant, but rather are growing in numbers every year by enticing young minority men time and time again to join their ranks. Many jurisdictions in the United States spend millions of dollars reacting to the crime that is caused by gangs in real time, however most of these jurisdictions find that reacting is not reducing the violent crime rate effectively. (USDOJ) Much research has been done intro the field of gang prevention in order to prevent further violent crime, as a result of this research evidence has shown that efforts to prevent gang violence should be targeted at youths in areas of high gang related violent crime. As a result many national programs have sprouted in the inner city, providing afterschool programs for youths in the inner city with educational efforts to prevent them from joining gangs. In order for these programs to run effectively they require funding. While there are grants available to gang prevention programs currently, they only supply around half of the funds needed to support these programs (OJJDP). In addition many of the funds for gang prevention are directed instead to suppression and intervention programs deemed unworthy. Therefore congress should eliminate funding to suppression and intervention programs and expand funding for afterschool programs in cities... ... middle of paper ... ...tice and Delinquency Prevention. "Youth Gang Programs and Strategies." United States Department of Justice. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 4 Mar. 2011. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Rothman, Emily F., Carol Ireland, Lori Curry, Allyson Baughman, and Donald Thompson. "The Violence Intervention and Prevention Team (VIP): Results of an Action Research Evaluation." Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 4.3 (2010): 169. Project Muse. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. "They Poison Our Streets with Drugs, Violence, and All Manner of Crime." FBI. FBI, 19 Mar. 2010. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. "USDOJ: FBCI: At-Risk Youth and Gang Prevention." USDOJ: FBCI: At-Risk Youth and Gang Prevention. N.p., 3 Feb. 2007. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. "Why Do Some Youth Become Violent and Carry Firearms?" NIJ. National Institute for Justice, 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.

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