After carefully researching data of past and recent trends, I am alarmed at the rate youth crime is increasing and is not only imminent danger to my country, my state, my county, my city but also to my very own neighborhood. I wanted to understand how this phenomenon has occurred, when did it occur, why it is occurring, and what can be done to combat it. I understand there are many unexplainable factors contributing to this epidemic. I want to find real answers to put an end finally to the continuous cycle.
While nobody knows for certain, many scholars believe that youth gangs originated from either Europe or Mexico and appeared in the United States shortly after the American Revolutionary war. Some believe they were formed from simple cultural similarities or religious beliefs amongst certain groups who shared those same connections. Others believe gangs came from the Mexican Migration to the southwest United States after the Mexican Revolution in 1813. Whenever gangs were first introduced to America is irrelevant because it has taken on a new chapter and definition in the 21st century.
When gangs were first formed, they served as a protection for their communities, families, and faith. They have slowly but surely transformed to an enterprise because of the increase of mobility and the rather easy access to weapons. Gangs have now morphed from being civil services to lucrative business empires. The average age of a typical gang member is about 17 or 18, but new data are showing gang members to be as young as 10 years old. According to a recent national law enforcement survey the ethnicity of most gang members is 48% African- American, 43% Hispanic, 5% white, and 4% Asian. Differently gangs usually represents different types of illegal activity they may be engaging. African-Americans generally are involved in drug offenses, while Hispanic gangs are involved in location or property crimes also known as "turf wars."
There are a few systematic surveys and data that is being used to learn more about youth gangs and how they operate. Studies have shown the one major source of comfort, reliability, and safety for gangs has been a relationship with their community they reside inside. The gang, of course, needs the community much more than you community needs the gang. The gang needs the community to provide a safety net for their operations. They also need the community to provide information to the gang, such as law enforcement in the area, other rival gang's activities, etc. They also need the community to have an appreciative bond and support for the gang. They need the community to show their pride to be affiliated with the gang by demonstrating anything from colors, gang signs, and graffiti to show outsiders this is their hood or turf. Fourth and finally but most importantly the gang needs the community for recruiting purposes. As each day passes, most gangs realize more than likely they will lose a member to death or incarceration.
This illustration ties perfectly into the issues I have observed in my very own community. We have this very issue. I believe we need to separate the gang from the community as it's safe haven. I believe in doing so, it will allow the community to be viewed as a victim and force the gang to be naked and have nowhere to hide itself. I also believe in separating the gang and the community, you force the community leaders and parents to step up and be accountable for the actions of their children or family as well as themselves. I also believe by separating the community from the gang you also allow law enforcement to be able to do their jobs more efficient. By not providing a haven for gang members, police officers and other law enforcement agencies are able better to identify, track, and arrest gang members conducting criminal activities. I also believe police officer presence should be more visible to all residents including...
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