Gang Rehabilitation: Effective or Not? Essay

Gang Rehabilitation: Effective or Not? Essay

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Criminal gangs are a crucial part of the criminal pyramid; they can be paid as hit-men, distribute narcotics, assault innocent victims, and commit larceny, among other crimes. These are more serious crimes that require harsher punishment, though, but are these harsher punishments effective?
While the U.S. had a rise in gangs, the state of Nevada has seen an increase in Hispanic criminal gangs, mainly Nortenos, or north-siders, and with that, Nevada has established a special law pertaining to criminal gangs known as a “gang enhancement” law which states:
A person who is convicted of a felony committed knowingly for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in affiliation with a criminal gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist the activities of the criminal gang will receive an additional punishment under NRS 193.168. Note that committing a felony in furtherance of a gang is not a separate crime…instead it is an “enhancement” of the original crime carrying an extra sentence that will be added to the sentence for the underlying felony. Also note that the D.A. is required to allege in the original charging documents that the defendant acted on behalf of a gang. If the D.A. fails to do so, then it may not seek an additional “gang enhancement” penalty if the defendant gets convicted of the underlying felony. (NRS 193.168)
But is this law really effective in eliminating gang crime? This law was established as a way to rehabilitate criminals convicted under gang enhancement, and also to deter and discourage criminal gangs. I find this law to be ineffective. While it does help remove gang members from the streets, these members are known as “soldiers,” which is the bottom of the food chain when it comes to gangs. These...


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...nishment does not fit the seriousness of the crime, therefore proving ineffective in combatting gang violence and severe crime.
Life in prison without the possibility of parole would best cover up the problem. Release on parole is based on good behavior, and often used as an incentive for inmates to behave and work well while in prison (Criminal Procedure Law and Practice p. 427). If inmates know that they will be released if they behave well, most can put up a “front” and act like they’re rehabilitated so that they can be released, once their entire sentence is finished, some may return to their evil ways.
In an interview I had with Winnemucca Police Department Sgt. Rangel, I asked him about the effectiveness of imprisonment and rehabilitation of criminals and was told that most are back in jail or prison within the first three years of being released.




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