Juvenile Gangs Research Paper

2274 Words 10 Pages
Gangs are a major concern in many cities and in the criminal justice field. Although some can be very dangerous, it is often a means of survival for many juveniles.
What is a gang?
The growth has been known to cause crime, violence and drug problems in places highly populated with gang members. With the changes in gangs over the years, it is difficult to establish what a gang really is. According to The Columbian, a gang is defined as “a group of three or more persons who claim a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the community,” (Columbian, 2007). Since the beginning
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It has been noted that “Youth gangs in the U.S. have existed since at least the 1870s,” (Mosher, lecture gangs). Since the establishment, gangs have grown across the globe. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, gangs “robbed, extorted and raped,” (http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Wh-Z-and-other-topics/Youth-Gangs.html). Gangs have evolved into street gangs from the violent past. Although some gangs do participate in violence, violence is not their sole purpose. “In the United States, the social and economic pressure associated with industrialization, urbanization, and immigration gave rise to organized criminal gangs that thrived under these conditions,” (faqs.org). According to many sources, there have been four distinct periods of growth since the establishment of …show more content…
Some of the major reasons that youth participate in gangs is because of something that they are lacking; safety, money, supervision, and status. Some theories behind this are the socialization hypothesis of delinquency, which is when “youth who socialize with friends who are highly delinquent will be more apt to be delinquent themselves,” (Bates). This is true for those like Ty, who will be mentioned later on. He joined a gang in order to obtain a sense of family and safety. His friends participated in gang activity which drew him in as a result. Marshall, a man interviewed by Clayton Mosher, noted that sometimes cultural issues play a role in why juveniles join gangs. His example was as follows; “You’re a Hispanic kid and you don’t speak English very well; you go to school and what other kids do, they pick on people, so you look different because Vancouver is still primarily white, and you’re targeted; you make some friends amongst your peers who speak your language and have your same culture. At some point you have to defend yourself, “(Mosher, Interview-Marshall). This is a possible formation of a gang in today’s society. He goes on to explain “What sets gangs apart from others, besides the group, is the violence that they tend not to shy away from like other groups. If they’re getting picked on, they have to, as a rule, do something about it. If they don’t, their friends aren’t even their friends because they’ve allowed disrespect which makes

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