As I went to our local library, I notice a group of young people dressed with bandannas and dark clothing. I later understood this group to be a gang, which sparked the curiosity for the research of this paper. Gangs in the United States are a problem, although there has been a decrease in certain areas. This paper will outline the social and psychological problems of youth and prison gangs. The study will speak to the current issues and present suggestions for the future.
Table of Contents
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Documents, Survey, and Statistics
There is a quote by Mohandas Gandhi that states, "Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain." The youth of today are out of control because families are dysfunctional and out of control. There are systems in place such as educational and preventive strategies to reduce gang participation. Even now, there are gangs in prison. Studies have indicated that the more we are able to reach young people the better society will become (Parry, 2009). What is going on? Documentation presents a genre of methodical ways to highlight the concerns of youth and adults entangled in gangs in the United States. Reviewing gangs psychologically and from a social perspective in literature will assist in determining the best way to reduce gang involvement. Background
There is a belief that the behavior of all gangs are the same and that they all behave the same, this is false (Jensen, 1994). Gang participation is widespread according to the study in 2002 by the Department of Justice researcher, which also involves criminal behavior (OJJDP, 2004). The survey in 2002 requested information about gang participation from county agencies. The survey found that gang participation is especially problematic in urban settings, with 100 percent of cities with populations of over 250,000 reporting youth gang problems and 87 percent of cities with populations between 100,000 and 249,999 (OJJDP, 2004). While urban populations experienced the largest percentages of gang participation, suburban and rural cities also had gang participation in between 12 and 27 percent of counties (OJJDP, 2004). In 2002, it was estimated that there were 731,500 gang participants in 21,500 gangs in the United States (OJJDP, 2004). While gang participation reportedly declined between 1999 and 2002, researchers argued that this was primarily due to a decline in smaller cities and rural communities, while urban populations remained consistently high (OJJDP, 2004). The Justice Department also assessed the nature of violence caused by the gang participants. In Justice Department survey, 142 cities with populations above 100,000 reported both gang participation and gang-related homicides (OJJDP, 2004). In this group, 51 cities reported that no gang-related homicides had occurred, 91 cities reported one or more gang related homicides, and two cities reported 655 gang-related homicides (OJJDP, 2004). These two cities, Chicago and Los Angeles, reported approximately 600 total gang-related homicides out of about 1,250 homicides record in 2002, or 50% of homicides resulting from gang participation (OJJDP, 2004). In urban settings, victims were more likely to report that violence occurred because of gang participation as compared to violence that occurs in either rural or suburban populations (Harrell, 2005). Researchers have attempted to determine the variables that...
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