The Involvement of Youths in Gangs

Topics: Crime, Gang, Illegal drug trade Pages: 25 (5461 words) Published: February 25, 2015


The Involvement of Youths in Gangs
Rica Philline E. Verceles
Catanduanes State University

Abstract
The study describes the involvement of youths towards gangs. The research identifies the reasons why youths join in gangs, the benefits or advantages in joining gangs, disadvantages and crimes involving gangs, and preventing youths in joining gangs. Data were collected using a library research. Findings indicate that youths have varying reasons why they join in gangs. These reasons include: a sense of “family”; need for food or money; desire for protection; peer pressure; family history or tradition; excitement; and lastly, to appear cool. The research also pointed out the crimes or violent offenses done by gangs. The research culminates by stating the prevention of youths in joining bad gangs or groups, and family plays an important role to prevent youths from joining gangs.

Introduction
The Involvement of Youths in Gangs
The term gang has been used in different groups all over the world. Despite its different meanings, the term gang almost always connotes involvement in disputable or illegal activities.
Social scientists often use the term gang when describing groups of youths. According to Frederick Thrasher’s The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago (1927), social conditions in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century encouraged the development of street gangs. During this period, many immigrants settled in enclaves characterized by several features: a large, culturally diverse population; weak housing; poor employment vision; and a rapid turnover in population. These conditions resulted in socially disorganized neighborhoods where social organizations were weak. The lack of social control encouraged youths to find other ways of creating social order, which they did by forming gangs. History of Gangs

In the early twentieth century, U.S. youth gangs were primarily composed of Jewish, Irish and Italian members (Spergel, 1995). In 1975, almost half of all gangs in the six largest cities were primarily composed of African Americans, Hispanic, and Asians (Miller, 1975). Many Asian gangs involve youths that are Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipino, and various Pacific Islander backgrounds (Klein, 1995). In the Philippines, gangs are widespread in every region. During the 1950’s, there were only two gangs: the OXO (Nothing Times Nothing) from the country’s central islands and the Sigue-Sigue Gang from Manila. For decades they slaughtered each other in prison clashes. In Bilibid Prison in Manila, ninety-five percent of the prisoners are gang members. There are twelve gangs and each have their own dormitory run by a gang commander who sits on a ruling council that runs most of the prison’s internal affairs. In Bilibid Prison, gang initiation often requires each new member to endure a 30-second no-holds-barred beating. Women have a choice between beating and gang rape. Advocacies of Gangs

Different gangs, different advocacies. To know more about gangs and their advocacies, gang researchers have their own definition of a gang.
Thrasher (1927) defined gang as an interstitial group originally formed spontaneously and then integrated through conflict. According to Thrasher, all childhood playgroups are potential gangs. The transformation from playgroup to gang occurs when youths encounter others who oppose or display disapproval for their group. This disapproval may or may not stem from delinquent activities, and Thrasher was careful not to include delinquency in his definition of gangs. Instead, Thrasher argued that gangs “facilitate” delinquency.

In contrast, other researchers distinguish gangs as delinquent groups. Malcolm Klein (1995) defines a gang as a group that recognizes itself as a gang, is recognized by the community as a gang, and is committed to a criminal orientation. Finn-Aage Esbensen (2000) offers a more precise...

References: Bjerregaard, B., & Lizotte, A.J. (1995). Gun ownership and gang membership. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 86:37-58.
Bjerregaard, B., & Smith, C. (1993). Gender differences in gang participation, delinquency, and substance use. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 9:329-355.
Block, C.R. (1993). Lethal violence in the Chicago Latino community. In Homicide: The Victim/Offender Connection, edited by A.V. Wilson. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson, pp. 267- 342.
Block, C.R., & Christakos, A. (1995). Major Trends in Chicago Homicide: 1965-1994. Research Bulletin. Chicago, IL: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
Block, C.R., Christakos, A., Jacob, A., & Przybylski, R. (1996). Street Gangs and Crime: Patterns and Trends in Chicago. Research Bulletin. Chicago, IL: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
Block, R., & Block, C.R. (1993). Street Gang Crime in Chicago. Research in Brief. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. NCJ 144782.
Bryant, D. (1989). Communitywide Responses Crucial for Dealing with Youth Gangs. Program Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCJ 119465.
California Council on Criminal Justice. (1989). Task Force Report on Gangs and Drugs. Sacramento, CA: California Council on Criminal Justice.
Capizzi, M., Cook, J.I., & Schumacher, M. (1995). The TARGET model: A new approach to the prosecution of gang cases. The Prosecutor Fall:18-21.
Clark, C.S. (1991). Youth gangs. Congressional Quarterly Research 22:755-771.
Decker, S.H. (1996). Collective and normative features of gang violence. Justice Quarterly13:243- 264.
Decker, S.H., & Van Winkle, B. (1996). Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Esbensen, F. (2000). “Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement.” U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Juvenile Justice Bulletin, September. Washington: U.S. Department of Justice.
Esbensen, F., & Huizinga, D. (1993). Gangs, drugs, and delinquency in a survey of urban youth. Criminology 31:565-589.
Esbensen, F., & Osgood, D.W. (1997). National Evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. Research in Brief. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. NCJ 167264.
Fagan, J.E. (1989). The social organization of drug use and drug dealing among urban gangs. Criminology 27:633-669.
Fagan, J.E. (1996). Gangs, drugs, and neighborhood change. In Gangs in America, 2d ed., edited by C.R. Huff. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 39-74.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1997). Uniform Crime Reports 1996. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Horowitz, R. (1983). Honor and the American Dream: Culture and Identity in a Chicano Community. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Howell, J.C. (1998). Youth Gangs: An Overview. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Hutson, H.R., Anglin, D., & Eckstein, M. (1996). Drive-by shootings by violent street gangs in Los Angeles: A five-year review from 1989 to 1993. Academic Emergency Medicine 3:300-303.
Hutson, H.R., Anglin, D., Kyriacou, D.N., Hart, J., & Spears, K. (1995). The epidemic of gang- related homicides in Los Angeles County from 1979 through 1994. The Journal of the American Medical Association 274:1031-1036.
Hutson, H.R., Anglin D., & Pratts, M.J. (1994). Adolescents and children injured or killed in drive-by shootings in Los Angeles. New England Journal of Medicine 330:324-327.
Inciardi, J.A. (1986). The War on Drugs: Heroin, Cocaine, Crime, and Public Policy. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield.
Klein, M.W. (1995). The American Street Gang. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Klein, M.W., Maxson, C.L., & Cunningham, L.C. (1991). Crack, street gangs, and violence. Criminology 29:623-650.
Lizotte, A.J., Tesoriero, J.M., Thornberry, T.P., & Krohn, M.D. (1994). Patterns of adolescent firearms ownership and use. Justice Quarterly 11:51-73.
Loftin, C. (1986). Assaultive violence as a contagious social process. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 62:550-555.
Maxson, C.L, Gordon, M.A., & Klein, M.W. (1985). Differences between gang and nongang homicides. Criminology 23:209-222.
Maxson, C.L., Woods, K., & Klein, M.W. (1996). Street gang migration: How big a threat? National Institute of Justice Journal 230:26-31.
Miller, W.B. (1974). American youth gangs: Past and present. In Current Perspectives on Criminal Behavior, edited by A. Blumberg. New York, NY: Knopf, pp. 410-420.
Miller, W.B. (1975). Violence by Youth Gangs and Youth Groups as a Crime Problem in Major American Cities. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCJ 137446.
Miller, W.B. (1992, Revised from 1982). Crime by Youth Gangs and Groups in the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCJ 156221.
Moore, J.W. (1988). Introduction: Gangs and the underclass: A comparative perspective. In People and Folks, by J. Hagedorn. Chicago, IL: Lake View, pp. 3-17.
Moore, J.W. (1991). Going Down to the Barrio: Homeboys and Home girls in Change. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Newton, G.D., & Zimring, F.E. (1969). Firearms and Violence in American Life: A Staff Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Sanchez-Jankowski, M.S. (1991). Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Sheley, J.F., & Wright, J.D. (1995). In the Line of Fire: Youth, Guns and Violence in Urban America. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine De Gruyter.
Spergel, I.A. (1995). The Youth Gang Problem. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Spergel, I.A., & Grossman, S.F. (1997). The Little Village Project: A community approach to the gang problem. Social Work 42:456-470.
Spergel, I.A., Grossman, S.F., & Wa, K.M. (1998). The Little Village Project: A Three Year Evaluation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
Thrasher, F.M. (1927). The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Venkatesh, S.A. (2000). American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Vigil, J.D. (1988). Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Why People Join Gangs. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.gangfree.org/gangs_why.html
Zimring, F.E
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Youth Gangs
  • Youth Gangs Essay
  • Youth Gangs Essay
  • Youth Gangs Essay
  • Essay about Youth and Gangs
  • An Analysis of Gang Involvement in Virginia Essay
  • Youth & Gang Violence Essay
  • Gang Violence And Youth Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
John Seago | Watch movie | John Savage