The Effects Of Youth Involvement In Gangs

1633 Words 7 Pages
Unique Parkinson
Bruce Stout
Criminology Senior Capstone
04 November 2016
Rough Draft: Youth Involvement in Gangs
Gang members are known for being hardened law breakers with little to no regard for human life; to think of an adolescent being a part of a group with such a reputation can be quite unsettling. Youth gangs contribute heavily to juvenile crimes but, instead of being helped and possibly rehabilitated with community-based or court referred programs they are often either given a “slap on the wrist” or they are incarcerated in youth detention centers. After doing research, it is clear that potential juvenile gang members have similar characteristics; from age to family and school life. Incarceration for these youths should be avoided
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There is some evidence in some support of the association between poor parental guidance (little supervision and/or disciplinary actions) and having a family member belong to a gang with youth gang membership (Lenzi et al., 2015). Some studies noted the aspect of a family’s low socioeconomic status, along with the family structure (single parent household), and the parenting practices (inconsistent disciplinary actions) in increasing the likelihood of a child becoming involved in a gang (Chu et al., 2012). Other studies found no significant associations between these particular family characteristics and gang affiliation (Chu et al., 2012).
Within the school realm, there was solid support for a few characteristics associated with youth gang membership. The factors associated with gang membership included were a lack of commitment to school, academic failure, and dropping out of school (Alleyne & Wood, 2010). Many studies have also linked to the perception of an unsafe school environment to adolescents feeling inclined to join gangs (Lenzi et al., 2015). These children feel the need to fulfill their desire for safety and protection, and for them joining a gang appears to be the best way to do

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