Youth Gangs in Maryland

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Derryle Valentine
Engl 1010
5/5/13
Youth Gangs in Maryland: Can something be done?

In the life that we live we are surrounded by a lot of violence. Whether it’s with other people, groups of people or even sometimes domestic violence is all around us. Throughout the years the emergence of gangs in Maryland has been a major source of violence. And to make matters worse the youth are starting to join these gangs at very young ages. But there is something that can be done to stop the spread of even more gang related issues.

Youth gangs in Maryland have been a problem for years. With members being at a rapid pace and at younger ages it seems as if there is no end to their reign of terror. Most of the young people joining these gangs are between the ages of 12-24. These youth gangs have been larger and larger as time goes on. In 1997 the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released a Fact Sheet on youth gangs which stated that, the population of youth gangs in major cities grew from 2,000 gangs with nearly 100,000 members in 1980 to more than 23,000 gangs and more 650,000 members in 1995. Something must be done to stop this rapid growth and slaughter of young people.

Even though youth gangs are a problem some aren’t as bad as the people believe them to be. For starters most gangs try to make themselves look tougher than what they are by mimicking other, more famous, gangs with things like similar colors, hand-signs, and secret words. Another factor is the media, more specifically television. When the media broadcast things on gang related issues they usually use scary images that tend to strike fear in the minds of people as well as other gangs. M. Felson uses the imagery of a coral snake and a king snake to further express this theory. But the question still remains can something be done about it?

A major problem within youth gangs is the number of homicides, especially with young adults. Approximately 12% of all...
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