Juvenile gangs have become a serious and growing problem in many areas throughout the U.S. It is unlikely that gang control strategies can be successful as long as legitimate economic alternatives are lacking. I will be exploring the possible proactive solutions to this social problem. Juvenile gangs on the street and in prison
“Violent crimes committed by juveniles are not diminishing, as other crimes, as reported by the Justice Department statistics, are (Siegel and Welsh, 2011).” We see that juveniles have more access, and more use of the weapons of violence, including gang affiliation. So why do young people join gangs? First of all, the gang members are minorities of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian. “There are two basic reasons for a young disadvantaged youth to join a gang: protection, and a sense of the "family" which he does not have at home- assuming he still has a home to call his (Siegel and Welsh, 2011).” While these two basic reasons are true both on the streets and in prison, the protection aspect is certainly far more important in jails. There was a time when juvenile "gangs" were romanticized in the movies. The Dead End Kids and the Bowery Boys were depicted as funny and clever street kids who really would not do anyone, except crooks, any harm. Those days are long gone. But, who are these "gangstas" in prisons and on the streets? Delinquency is not an inherited trait, like some forms of diseases or alcoholism (Siegel and Welsh, 2011).
Juvenile delinquency is no different from adult delinquency. It is a blatant and often persistent disregard for law and order, for moral and ethical standards and for the rights of others. Gang membership among juveniles is on the rise. And even these juveniles are dangerous. Gangs, according to police experts are much like the better known crime families, usually the leaders do not participate in criminal...