Top-Rated Free Essay

youth crime

Topics: Gang, Crime, Illegal drug trade, Criminology / Pages: 9 (2226 words) / Published: Jul 25th, 2014
Youth Crime After carefully researching data of past and recent trends, I am alarmed at the rate youth crime is increasing and is not only imminent danger to my country, my state, my county, my city but also to my very own neighborhood. I wanted to understand how this phenomenon has occurred, when did it occur, why it is occurring, and what can be done to combat it. I understand there are many unexplainable factors contributing to this epidemic. I want to find real answers to put an end finally to the continuous cycle. While nobody knows for certain, many scholars believe that youth gangs originated from either Europe or Mexico and appeared in the United States shortly after the American
Revolutionary war. Some believe they were formed from simple cultural similarities or religious beliefs amongst certain groups who shared those same connections. Others believe gangs came from the Mexican Migration to the southwest United States after the Mexican Revolution in
1813. Whenever gangs were first introduced to America is irrelevant because it has taken on a new chapter and definition in the 21st century. When gangs were first formed, they served as a protection for their communities, families, and faith. They have slowly but surely transformed to an enterprise because of the increase of mobility and the rather easy access to weapons. Gangs have now morphed from being civil services to lucrative business empires. The average age of a typical gang member is about
17 or 18, but new data are showing gang members to be as young as 10 years old. According to a recent national law enforcement survey the ethnicity of most gang members is 48% African-
American, 43% Hispanic, 5% white, and 4% Asian. Differently gangs usually represents different types of illegal activity they may be engaging. African-Americans generally are involved in drug offenses, while Hispanic gangs are involved in location or property crimes also known as "turf wars." There are a few systematic surveys and data that is being used to learn more about youth gangs and how they operate. Studies have shown the one major source of comfort, reliability, and safety for gangs has been a relationship with their community they reside inside. The gang, of course, needs the community much more than you community needs the gang. The gang needs the community to provide a safety net for their operations. They also need the community to provide information to the gang, such as law enforcement in the area, other rival gang's activities, etc. They also need the community to have an appreciative bond and support for the gang. They need the community to show their pride to be affiliated with the gang by demonstrating anything from colors, gang signs, and graffiti to show outsiders this is their hood or turf. Fourth and finally but most importantly the gang needs the community for recruiting purposes. As each day passes, most gangs realize more than likely they will lose a member to death or incarceration. This illustration ties perfectly into the issues I have observed in my very own community.
We have this very issue. I believe we need to separate the gang from the community as it's safe haven. I believe in doing so, it will allow the community to be viewed as a victim and force the gang to be naked and have nowhere to hide itself. I also believe in separating the gang and the community, you force the community leaders and parents to step up and be accountable for the actions of their children or family as well as themselves. I also believe by separating the community from the gang you also allow law enforcement to be able to do their jobs more efficient. By not providing a haven for gang members, police officers and other law enforcement agencies are able better to identify, track, and arrest gang members conducting criminal activities. I also believe police officer presence should be more visible to all residents including criminals infrequent crime committing areas. It is common sense and known fact criminals do not operate in law enforcement heavy areas. I think it will be very effective method in using to combat against all crime. In the United States, there is a general tendency to classify people into five ethnicities
(Caucasian, African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian). In the past poor communication, or lack of education have hindered minorities with the opportunity of employment and not obtain information about civil services that were available. Of course, not having a good communication skill, such as speaking in English lead to high unemployment in ethnic communities, as well as a huge dependency of the federal government welfare system.
In general, many ethnic minority communities have had relatively low socio-economic status. So without having a successful, prominent example, many minorities looked to drugs as a way to make a living. In the first half of the 20th century, Mexicans were belittled for their cannabis use. As time passed on and ideas broaden, laws became less strict, many minorities seen selling drugs to become potential to be a very lucrative career. It didn't require many of the barriers that currently existed from them. It didn't require a certain level of education, it did not require you to be proficient in the English language, and it's tax-free income. With these types of thoughts in mind, the drug epidemic soared throughout many minority communities. The 1980's saw a huge uproar in youth crime and drug sales with the rise of crack cocaine. Drugs sales became an imperative trade in young offenders because selling drugs was the quickest and easy method for them to financially support themselves. The question everyone wanted to know was why has youth involvement in drug trafficking increased in the past decade?
The answer was very simple, "The decline in manufacturing jobs in the 1970's and the development of technological and service industries led to economic restructuring in many cities.
New jobs were created, but they were in the suburbs, leaving unqualified minorities in the inner cities. Dramatic increases in unemployment resulted, especially among minority males, and high unemployment rates were mainly concentrated in specific geographic areas. Drug markets provided "work" for displaced workers, and the growing popularity of crack cocaine opened new opportunities for youth to make money"(Howell, James C. page 3) Drugs have played a pivotal role in drugs in my community. Drug sales are a major source of income for most of the offenders in my community. Shutting down a drug operation is a bit more complex and detail oriented than stopping gang activity. I believe the first steps that must be made is first focusing and identifying who the drugs users are and who are their drug dealers. After we have found out who the dealers are, we need to establish what rank or title are they. Are they runners, d boys or holders. Runner is a person who conducts a drug transaction for another person, usually a D boy or holder. A D boy conducts his own drug transactions and normally doesn't have a lot of drugs. He typically gets his drugs from the holder aka "stat man."
Now the stat man can do it all, and he may have runners and D boys working for him but he's the only one who can get drugs from Da Connect also known as a supplier. Now finding out who the source is, or supplier or as the streets would say " Da Connect, or Plug" is a very difficult task.
Mainly because Da Connect and stat man typically communicates in an indirect fashion. So being able to get to the stat man would be a huge victory even if we're unable to get to Da
Connect because the stat man transacts over $5000 daily, so he's a mid player in the game. I think this method would be most effective because we would be able to work our way up from the bottom, sometimes fall guy to potentially the king pin. One can only wonder, could a physical location prevent or reduce crime? "Offenders often operate in a rational fashion; they prefer to commit crimes that require the least effort, provide the highest benefits, and pose the lowest risks. Physical environment features can influence the chances of a crime occurring. They affect potential offenders' perceptions about a possible crime site, their evaluations of the circumstances surrounding a potential crime site, and the availability and visibility of one or more natural guardians at or near the site. Offenders may decide whether or not to commit a crime in a location after they determine the following: How easy will it be to enter the area? How visible, attractive, or vulnerable do targets appear? What are the chances of being seen? If seen, will the people in the area do something about it? Is there a quick, direct route for leaving the location after the crime is committed?" (Taylor and Harrell pg.1-2) I agree with almost every detail this article provides. Most criminals like to operate in areas that are familiar. Most criminals do not operate in settings they're unaware of, they are vulnerable, and they have no control. Without knowing your surroundings or at least being comfortable in those surroundings, that takes the element of confident out of the criminal and within that confidence, the criminal will shrink and become the frightened individual they already are. I agree with the four methods in making certain locations dead set against crime. PHYSICAL DETERIORATION- Controlling physical deterioration to reduce offenders' perceptions that areas are vulnerable to crime and that residents are so fearful they would do nothing to stop crime. Physical improvements may reduce the signals of vulnerability and increase commitment to joint protective activities. Physical deterioration, in all probability, not only influences cognition and behavior of potential offenders but also shapes how residents behave and what they think about other residents. (Taylor and Harrell pg.2-3) TERRITORIAL FEATURES- Encouraging the use of territorial markers or fostering conditions that will lead to more extensive marking to indicate a block or site is occupied by vigilant residents. Sponsoring cleanup and beautification contests and creating controllable, semiprivate outdoor locations may encourage such activities. This strategy focuses on small- scale, private, and semipublic sites, usually within predominantly residential locales
(Taylor 1988, chapter 4). It is most relevant at the street block level and below. It enhances the chances that residents themselves will generate semi-fixed features that demonstrate their involvement in and watchfulness over a particular delimited location. This approach has not proven directly relevant to crime, but it is closely linked to residents' fear of crime. (Taylor and
Harrell pg.2-3) HOUSING DESIGN OR BLOCK LAYOUT. Making it more difficult to commit crimes by (1) reducing the availability of crime targets; (2) removing barriers that prevent easy detection of potential offenders or of an offense in progress; and (3) increasing physical obstacles to committing a crime. (Taylor and Harrell pg.3)

LAND USE AND CIRCULATION PATTERNS. Creating safer use of neighborhood space by reducing routine exposure of potential offenders to crime targets. This can be accomplished through careful attention to walkways, paths, streets, traffic patterns, and location and hours or operation of public spaces and facilities. (Taylor and Harrell pg.3) In an interview with Statesville city Councilman Jarrod Phifer, he talked about the challenges are currently facing Statesville particularly south Statesville. " Currently south
Statesville is enduring a battle against primarily drug and gang violence. It is a challenge that I believe we are equipped to handle, and there's already signs that our efforts are paying off.
Within the last six months there has been eight-undercover sting operations that have uncovered over $670,000 in cash and over 2.3 million dollars in street value worth of drugs. Follow the money trail. The follow trail always take you to the Bosses, Stat man or Da connect. Violence is set really to take the steep decline in the city. Having cash rewards for crime stoppers also have been a huge blessing. Residents that have information about crime suspects or unsolved crimes are not hesitating to share that information with law enforcement and receive their cash reward.
Yes, I do believe the future is looking very bright for Statesville. I agree with Councilman Phifer. As I stated earlier it was important for law enforcement to separate gangs with their community. I think it is brilliant to use the money as an incentive to combat crime. It's great to hear from a city official that things are beginning to change for the better. In conclusion, youth crime and violence is a problem for most of us in the United States and the rest world. After researching this material and speaking with Councilman Jarrod, I believe we as a community are most responsible for this epidemic. We must continue to work with law enforcement and drive out all criminal activities in our communities. It starts with us and our community leader not to allow this in our neighborhood.

Works cited
GARY REID,CAMPBELL AITKEN, LORRAINE BEYER & NICK CROFTS. " Ethnic communities’ vulnerability to involvement with illicit drugs" Drugs: education, prevention and policy, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2001

Phifer, Jarrod "Statesville city councilman, ward 3 district" ( Interview) 14 July. 2014

Taylor, Ralph B., and Adele V. Harrell. "Physical Environment and Crime." RESEARCH REPORT. May 1996: 1-31. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 15 Jul. 2014.

Howell, James C. "Youth Gangs: An Overview." Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Aug. 1998: 1-19. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 15 Jul. 2014

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