Why Do Youths Join Gangs

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Introduction
This paper gives will give depth information on gang activity in the U.S. and explore the causes of gang memberships and it will also mention several policies that have been studied to prevent youths from joining them. As of today, gangs continue to be a huge problem in the U.S. gang members are violent and are also responsible for committing crimes from assaults to murder using firearms and other weapons to intimidate rivals, law enforcement, and the general public. The purpose of my paper is to address why many youths join gangs. My paper will also address a few policies and programs that can prevent youths from joining a gang and prevent those who are already part of it from committing crimes. Street gangs in this country can
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In the National Institute of Justice explain how members collectively identify themselves by adopting a group identity, which they use to create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation, by employing one or more of the following: a common name such as a slogan or same color of clothing (1). The first street gang originated in the late 1960 's and it was one of the most violent and unlawful African-American gangs in the history of Los Angeles, the Crips (Dunn, 1999, p.1). It all began with the creation of a small gang called the "Baby Avenues" by two South Central Los Angeles high school students, Raymond Washington, and Tookie. These young men soon began referring to their gang as the "Cribs," which is thought to have eventually given rise to the current name of the South Central gang, the Crips. Raymond and Tookie claimed to have started this particular gang as a means of protection against other gangs in the area who were committing various…show more content…
There are several risk factors on why a person will join a gang. Risk factors and motivations that encourage gang involvement are peer pressure, family conditions, desire for protection, and need for money (National Crime Prevention Council, p.1). For example, being peer pressured is when an individual faces constant pressure to fit in. Having poor family conditions leads a person towards joining a gang as well. If someone feels that they do not receive enough support or attending at home they try to escape the negative home live by joining a gang a making it a family figure (1). When a person grows up with a family that has a gang history they are also more likely to join a gang since it is deeply rooted in the family traditions and values. Individuals also join gangs when they have the necessity to have money. In the article Gang joining in Denmark: prevalence and correlates of street gang membership the author explains how people often join gangs so that they can use their affiliation to make a profit through illegal activities, such as selling drugs and auto theft (Pedersen, 2014, p.56). Pedersen also provides a chart of potential risk factors on why people join gangs. The table 1 demonstrated above shows how street gang members report weak family bonds, and poor parental monitoring (Pedersen, 2014, p.61). The graph shows how weak parental monitoring increases the percentage of street gang members. When someone is not being monitored the lack of love then
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