Juvenile Justice

In: Social Issues

Submitted By auntieshar
Words 1232
Pages 5
Living in a small community one does not expect to see gang activity. You say to yourself not here, this is not a city with a large population nor is there easy access to guns, drugs, poverty, etc. some of the conditions to bring gang activity into the area. A youth gang is ‘”commonly known as a self-formed association of peers having the following characteristics: three or more members ,aged 12-24, a gang name and some sense of identity ,generally indicated by symbols such as clothing style, graffiti and hand signs, so degree of permanence and organization, and an elevated level of involvement in delinquent and/or criminal activity”. (http://www.ncvc.org/)
Youth gangs even though considered uniquely American they also are in other countries as well. Gangs have been around for a long time, “In England in the 1600’s London was terrorized by organized gangs that called themselves the “Hectors”” Bugles”, “Dead Boys,” and other colorful names Even today, with the mention of the word gang one begins to see images of black jacket youths roaming the city streets bearing such names as the Latin Kings, MS-13, bloods, crips just to name a few of the many that are around,” (Siegel) Unfortunately, the growing with increase of Broadway shows, books, films and other media it has glorified being in a gang as well as popularized it as well.
You ask yourself the questions why do these gangs exist and why do our children join them so easily? The answers to these questions I found not only interesting but have not really changed over the years. Some of the reasons I would like to mention are increased drug trafficking, the ease/access to drugs and guns, poverty, racial division, lack of employment and recreational opportunities break in family structure, excessive sex and violence in television and movies, and the breakdown in structure in the community and of the church…...

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... community as well as focusing on the relationships with the youths not just their behavior. When dealing with the youth who sells drugs do not make the drugs your focus of intervention, instead find out why they are selling (money, self-esteem, power, or etc.) Utilize parents or positive parents of gang members whenever possible and finally identify all youth on probation /parole in an effort to neutralize their leadership as gang members. (ncvc.org) In 2009 the National Youth Gang Center, which had been funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention since 1995, merged with the National Gang Center that had been funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance since 2003. This new partnership the National Gang Center recognizes that street gang activities transcend ages of the members and that a balanced, comprehensive approach is needed to reduce gang involvement and levels of gang activity. By joining these two groups together, it has resulted in a single more efficient entity, responsive to the needs of researchers, practitioners and the public. In conclusion, I feel that we as parents need to be more involved with our children. As in everything, that I have researched the main cause for a child to join a gang in addition to low self-esteem is the need to feel wanted and loved. Yes, the need for drugs and fast money also plays a role but for the most part, it is love. With more and more 2-job families (mom and dad working), the children are left on their......

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