Criminal Justice Term Paper

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Gangs in the United States

Gangs have been a part of The United States for many years and the increase in gang affiliation continues to rise. As the increase in gang populations rises, gang criminal activity also begins to rise. The community and the criminal justice system must continue to make every effort to join together to minimize and decrease gang populations A gang is a group of people using a unique name and identifiable marks or symbols who claim a territory or turf as their own (Mays, Gangs and Gang Behavior). Although this is majority agreed upon definitions, definition of what a gang is can sometimes be complex because of continous definition reform. Gangs today have caused tremendous damage to communities by their criminal behavior that varies from minor graffiti all the way up to murder. Some gangs are now very complex criminal organizations, which deal in weapons trafficking, gambling, drug use or distribution, and robbery (Mays, Gangs and Gang Behavior). These gangs conduct these types of criminal behavior to increase profits for their gangs to help them to grow and become more powerful. For many gangs they seek to be the most powerful, the largest, and be respected. Often times one of the leading causes of controversy between rival gangs is gang turf or territory. Drug crimes are also popular within some gangs. As the National Center for Victims of crimes points out, “Gangs today are involved in a wide variety of crimes; their influence on the flow of drugs into our schools and communities has resulted in additional social problems (Gangs in America). Individuals are now joining gangs at young ages and this has become a concern for much of society. A problem leading to increased youth gang activity and criminal behavior is a lack of parenting or family oriented ties for some youth. Research indicates that youths join gangs for different reasons around the world. They join gangs because they have a need for power, their friends are...
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