Reasons Youth Join Gangs

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Deviance in Gang Involvement Reasons Youth Join Gangs The problem of gang activity is not a new one facing our country. Ever since the beginnings of human existence gangs have served as a means of protection for humans. The issue of gang activity has recently, however, come to the forefront of dilemmas facing our nation. While cities like Chicago and Los Angeles are chronic gang sites, other cities such as “Miami, Portland, Columbus, Dallas, and Milwaukee have only recently (within the last decade) had what they termed as a gang problem” (Conly 7). Gang numbers have, without question, skyrocketed over the past 10 to 20 years. Los Angeles, for example, has recently been estimated to have as many as 90,000 gang members (Conly 14). The importance of these numbers cannot be overlooked. However, to fully understand the problems that gangs may pose to society, the term gang must be defined. Without a definition the impact of gang maliciousness on society may be lost. Throughout its history the term “gang” has possessed a diverse usage, being linked to outlaws in the “wild west” and organized crime groups among others (Decker and Van Winkle 2). Due to this, a clear-cut definition of a gang does not exist. However, most agree that a gang is a group of mostly males that engages in delinquent activities. However, the definition goes much further than that. A police officer, for example, may call a gang “an on-going, organized association of three or more persons who individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in criminal activity” (Conly 5). Notwithstanding, this definition is terribly obscure. That definition could include a group of boys who occasionally drink alcohol. On the other hand it could also includ... ... middle of paper ... ...bliography: Conly, Catherine H., et al. Street Gangs: Current Knowledge and Strategies. Washington: Dept. of Justice. Office of Justice Programs and National institute of Justice, 1993. Decker, Scott H., and Berik Van Winkle. Life in the Gang: Family Friends and Violence. New York: Cambridge Up, 1996. Dickersen, Debra. “Cease Fire in Simple City.” U.S. News and World Report 16 Mar. 1998: 22-25. Korem, Dan. Suburban Gangs: The Affluent Rebels. Texas: International Focus Press, 1994. Sanders, William B. Gangbangs and Drivebys: Grounded Culture and Juvenile Gang Violence. New York: Walter de Gruyter Inc, 1994. Spergel, Irving A. The youth Gang Problem: A Community Approach. New York: Oxford Up, 1995. Trump, K. S. Youth Gangs and School: The Need for Intervention and Prevention Strategies. Cleveland: Urban Child Research Center, 1993.
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