Youth Participation In Gangs

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Youth participation in gangs actually decreased from 1996 to 2004, but the violence within these gangs has not. Homicides committed by youth gang members still remain as a monumental problem across the United States of America. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reported in its 2004 survey of youth gangs that there were an estimated 760,000 gang members that year. Many of the kids affiliated with gangs come from lower income, single parent homes; therefore, the youths of America often turn to gangs to fill the void of not being part of a “family”. To combat this problem and save our youth from a life of malfeasance, the people of the communities of America must take a stand against the negative influences that impact these youths.

Violence within Youth Gangs of America

The term gang can be associated with a number of different things but, for this paper, the term gangs will be in reference to youth gangs; “youth gangs are considered to consist of adolescents and young adults from the ages of 12 to 24” (Decker and Howell, 1999, p.1). Gangs have been a “normal” part of United States culture for centuries now, a sad but also, very true statement. What started out as a group of friends wearing their favorite color and protecting their neighborhood from crime has turned into a problem of epic proportion across the United States of America. In earlier years gangs were only a problem for poor communities within the big cities. But during this day and age, even rural areas, smaller cities and, suburbs are not immune to the problems of gangs and the dilemmas that they cause.

Two of the biggest problems that are caused by gangs are the violence and drugs that are brought into the communities. For example, the Chica...

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