Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur

Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur

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Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur

The correctional system fails in the sense that it does not correct gang members behavior. In fact, it seems that prison only make the problems worse. Bangers sent to prison come out looking bigger, stronger, with new enemies, and are hungry to get back on the streets. In Monster's eyes being sent to prison is only another stepping stone in his path to O.G. status. The harsher the prison the better it is.
The first mistake in the correctional system is grouping gangs instead of separating them. Putting members of the same gang together only makes them feel right at home and comfortable in their surroundings. In addition, rival gang members are able to interact, leading to a increased level of hatred towards each other, which is then brought back to the streets. Bangers are taken off the street only to be reunited with fellow bangers in the same situation only behind bars.
Secondly, prison officials treat leaders such as Monster differently than other members. This only causes Monster's reputation and ego to grow which is his goal. Putting monster under higher security only proves to others, how dangerous he really is and adds glory to gang life. Authorities would be better off to treat Monster like any other criminal. By recognizing his name and reputation, he gains self satisfaction.
As well as identifying individuals, correctional system make the mistake of identifying each gang. The crips are forced to wear a different colored uniform than the rest of the inmates. By dressing and treating crips differently authorities are almost giving them the respect they want. Not only are they tough on the streets, but even cops fear them. This practice indirectly sparked a greater war between the crip nation. Monster explains that the division of East and West began in prison, due to the grouping of the gang members. Being recognized is what bangers strive for. Identifying them as gang members instead of murderers, robbers, or druggies only adds fuel to their fire. The pride of being a banger grows when they are separated from the general population because they are unsafe.
In addition, perhaps one of the flaws is in the people who send the prisoners to the jails whether it be the judge, probation officer, or the district attorney.

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Their actions to put young bangers into the big tank with out any hesitation, is a problem. Monster says "youths can be whisked away from a structured program monitored by a civilian staff-who attempt to counsel the captured youths by developing a healthy, human rapport with them and their parents." (Shakur 136) Some young bangers get the opportunity to get on track with proper correction methods in a less harsh environment. Why should the counseling not be present in the big tank, where it is probably needed the most. Also Monster points out the missing pieces in the larger jails as "not so much as an inkling, of counseling or adult support or the benefit of any meaningful structured program to aid them in correcting whatever problems they may have." (Shakur 136) Monster is even able to identify some things that perhaps could change the correctional system.
The final flaw in the system involves the people running the prisons and the methods used in treating prisoners. Inmates are degraded and put down instead of being corrected. "the deputies were outright racist dogs who always wanted a confrontation with us" (Shakur 1390 Their hatred for "pigs" grows with the continuing subhuman treatment they receive while being bars. If methods of treatment for prisoners involved providing alternate lifestyles to and counseling and some respect could be established between inmates and officers, perhaps bangers would come out changed for the better. Instead they become hardened and mentally stronger. The harshness of the streets seems weaker and they may become better at banging.
The correctional system is flawed because it identifies and tries to prevent gang activity. Instead, it should focus on treating and correcting individuals. Authorities should focus on changing bangers into civilians and attack the gang problem one criminal at a time
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