Gang Violence and Youth
Gang Violence and Youth:
Why youth join gangs and how to help try to prevent it.
Heather N. Rockenbach
Youth in America join and become involved in street gangs because of a lack of strong social institutions, and for power, safety, and the perceived respect within their community. Background
Street gangs have been and will always be a problem in America and in California. One of the biggest problems when it comes to street gangs is, according to Howell, “There is no single, universally accepted definition of a gang or gang member. In fact, neither gang researchers nor law enforcement agencies can agree on a common definition” (Howell, 2012, p.53). Based on information from Howell, street gangs have been around since the early 1800s on the east coast. One of the background issues when dealing with youth becoming involved with street gangs is being able to discern between which are street gangs and which are just street peer groups. According to lecture, a lot of times “traditional youth activity is characterized as gang related” (lecture, 1/26/12). The reason that this is such an issue is because if we do not know what is leading and contributing to youth continuing to become involved in gangs, we will not be able to successfully work towards preventing it. Assumptions
The assumption is that youth join gangs to feel involved and have a support system which they do not have within their homes. According to the lecture, “Gangs allow for feelings of acceptance and gangs can provide structure and purpose” (lecture, 1/24/12). Other assumptions are that youth join gangs for protection from bullies or from other gangs, as well as for respect.
Gang Violence and Youth
In the United States gang violence has been a big factor that is affecting everyone. For those who didn’t know, this gang violence is rapidly approaching in the United States. I believe that Gang Violence in the United States should be banded or illegal. Gang Violence is not only a big factor only with older people, it also affects young teenagers. The United States is affected with gang violence in every state. In some states everyday 55 juveniles, ages 10 - 17, are arrested for an index crime, 9 juveniles, ages 10-17, are arrested for a violent index crime, 10 children are placed in out-of-home care for delinquency, 157 youth drop out of high school, 1 youth, age 15-19, dies from an accident, homicide or suicide, all of this are related to gang violence. Gang Violence is the wrong way to go. There shouldn’t be in any way possible for a young child to experience a gang. That shouldn’t be the way to be acknowledged. Many people join a gang so they can become popular, that just upsetting. And many others are forced in a gang. Most gangs are performed in High School. There are three distinct classes of youth gangs. These include corporate, scavenger and corporate youth gangs. Corporate gangs indulge in money making activities. Members of corporate gangs tend to engage in group violence rather than individual. Territorial gangs, on the other hand, are more concerned with protecting their turf, and will readily engage in violence to protect it. As EMT group states, territorial gangs do have a level of hierarchy, but it is not as developed as that of corporate gangs. Scavenger...
References: EMT Group ( n.d. ). Introduction to youth gangs. Retrieved from http://www.emt.org/userfiles/Gangs.pdf
Justice Education Society of BC ( n.d. ). Youth and gangs: making smart choices. http://justiceeducation.ca/themes/framework/documents/yg-enfactsheet.pdf
Middleearthnj ( 4th March, 2010 ). Gangs: reasons youth join, warning signs and prevention tips.
Youth and gangs
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