Analysis Of Gangs: Attractors Of Juvenile Delinquency

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Gangs: Attractors of Juvenile Delinquency or the Cause for it? “Since the mid-20th century, gang violence in this country has become widespread” with 8% of youth being involved in them between the ages of 12 and 17 (Howell, 2010 p. 2). A question that has risen is if gangs attract delinquents or if they make juveniles delinquent. The main concern is if these youths had previous delinquency issues, or if they joined for friendship and a sense of community that turned violent. I believe it takes a little bit of both in order for a juvenile to become trapped into a gang lifestyle, which progresses into adulthood. Criminology focuses on researching risk factors and creating prevention programs in order to keep juveniles out of the system and …show more content…
While it’s possible for juveniles to grow out of their delinquency, some stick with it through adulthood and end up as a criminal offender in the future. The only way to prevent gang initiation is by minimalizing the risk factors and working together as communities, schools, and families to keep adolescents in the best conditions. Howell (2010) highlights some strategies to prevent gang involvement in youth that are relatively common sense. It’s important to raise awareness of gangs and their negative consequences to youths and it’s also vital that parents and teachers understand gang problems too and how to address them. Other strategies are increasing supervision in homes, schools, and communities, providing tutoring for students doing poorly in their classes, having less suspension and expulsion, strengthening family structures, and overall working on youth’s conflicts to make them feel better and think more positively. Based on the points presented I think that gangs can go both ways. Non-delinquent juveniles with risk factors may join a gang for a sense of community and family not knowing the consequences that eventually result in delinquent offending. Already delinquent juveniles also join gangs because they are already seen as trouble and have previously offended, so they may think gangs are the best place for them and find it easier to be mischievous and selfish. Gangs have horrible repercussions, but by the time a juvenile is in a gang and feels comfortable, they may do anything to remain a part of that financially stable and “fun”

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