18th Street Gang

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May 4, 2007
18th Street Gang

The 18th Street Gang is one of the biggest gangs in Los Angeles County. There membership has been estimated to be around 20,000. Most members in this gang are Mexican and Chicano but they are one of the few gangs that have broken racial boundaries. They allow almost any race to join the gang. (Delaney, 2006) Because of their openness to other races the gang membership grew rapidly. An estimated 60% of the gang is made up of illegal immigrants. ("18th Street Gang", 2007) The 18th Street Gang is also referred to as the Children's Army because they recruit members from very young ages. Members are told that if you leave the gang it will result in death or the death of family members. (Valdez, 2000) Members of the 18th Street gang expanded into other countries such as Mexico, and Canada.(Valdez, 2000) Over the pasted 17 years the gang has moved activity into other states as well. These states include Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, and on Native American lands. (Valdez, 2000)

The 18th Street Gang was started in 1960's. It was formed as a result of youths attempting to join the Clanton Gang. The Clanton Gang was a gang who only allowed American citizen from a pure Hispanic background. This did not leave any room for the illegal immigrant migrating from Mexico. Although these youths were denied entry into the Clanton Gang they still committed crimes. Most were incarcerated. Upon entry into the jail they tried to join the Clanton Gang again only to be rejected. These youths banded together and created their own gang. One youth with the nickname "Glover" did most of the recruiting and targeted mostly interracial youths. This formed the 18th Street Gang originally called the Clanton Street Throw-aways.(Delaney, 2006) The name 18th Street Gang came about because the majority of the original gang members lived on 18th Street....
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