Gangs : Attractors Of Juvenile Delinquency Or The Cause For It?

1568 Words Dec 4th, 2014 null Page
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 safe into adulthood, and within this are gangs and their impact. The main way to answer this question is based off the risk factors, the most dominant part of gang membership and who is susceptible to involvement. According to James Howell (2010) juveniles base their decision to join a gang based off of factors falling into two categories: risk factors and attractions. The attractions he lists all seem plausible: for protection; for fun; for respect; for money; because a friend or family member was in the gang. Juveniles are easily swayed by peers, and if they have a peer in a gang that mentions these “attractions” they may find comfort in joining it. It’s almost guaranteed that when youths chose to join a gang they don’t think about the…

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