Youth Gangs Essay

2076 Words Mar 8th, 2009 9 Pages
Jimmie Simpson University of Phoenix

Although some may argue that gang activity and youth involvement has grown exponentially through the years, it has been an ongoing epidemic for decades. Methods, levels of violence, rules, and motivations may have changed over the years, but the basic infrastructure has remained the same. The earliest accounts of youth involvement in gangs first appeared in Europe or Mexico, while the earliest record of youth gangs appearing in the United States are recorded as early as 1783. In the early 1800’s youth gangs appeared to spread in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, in the form of poverty stricken Irish immigrants. Kids banded together and ran the streets stealing food and goods
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The society provides information and help for parents who have kids in gangs. Some schools and communities have joined the fight of helping against youth gangs in the U.S. by starting programs which help build kids self esteem, give them a strong support system and outlet for aggression, and show them a better way of life.

The average age of youth gang members is 17 to 18 years old, but in some cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, members can be older because gangs have been in existence longer. Contemporary youth gangs are located primarily in lower class slums, and ghettos but it is not clear that class, poverty, culture, social change, race or ethnicity are the primary reasons for gang problems. Recently in fact, we have seen larger numbers of middle and upper class Caucasian youth forming sets (factions of a gang) of black gangs. This could be attributed to the glorified idea of hip hop culture as associated with fame and money. In modern times, kids of every class, ethnicity, and country are embracing the hip hop culture and all the gang banging and violence that comes with it. However, we shouldn’t forget the age old White Supremacists, Aryan Brotherhood and skinheads on the other side of the fence. Within cultures, certain offenses are related to racial ethnicities in youth gangs. African American gangs are more involved in drug offenses, while

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