Why Juvenile Choose a Gang Lifestyle?

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Gangs have been in existence since the beginning of the Roman Empire. There were speeches made by Roman orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, which references groups of men who constantly fought and disrupted Roman politics (Curry, 2013). The history of street gangs in the United States begins with their emergence on the East Coast around 1783, as the American Revolution ended. Though many believe the best available evidence suggests that the more serious street gangs likely did not emerge until the early part of the nineteenth century (Sante, 1991). Although our country has had their share of feared gangs like in the 1980’s with the turf war between the Bloods and Crips, back in the 17th and 18th century the Mohocks of Georgian, England were one of the most feared gangs. What draws juveniles to the gang lifestyle? Many people will say that most gang members are children from impoverished communities, single family homes where there was no father present, or maybe there is a more psychological/sociological answer? By appearance and presence most gangs cause fear, crime, and disillusionment in the communities they occupy. Throughout history joining a gang has been perceived as a life without any reward, yet by joining this lifestyle many juveniles are able to gain the needed stability and security in their lives.
Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for the meaning of gang. The definition that best fits for juveniles is a group of young people who do illegal things together and who often fight against other gangs, or a group of people who are friends and who do things together. (Webster’s) One of the problems met by law enforcement and other professionals is the lack of a consistent definition of a gang. Generally a ga...

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