number of youth gangs in the United States to be 21,500, with 731,500 gang members.
Prison gangs, motorcycle gangs, and adult gangs are excluded from these estimates. The
2002 National Youth Gang Survey, conducted by the National Youth Gang Center, also
found that all cities with populations of 250,000 or more reported a youth gang problem.
In addition, 87 percent of cities with populations between 100,000 and 249,999 reported
youth gang problems (NAGIA 12). Every kid has a different reason for wanting to join a
gang, each with a life story of his own, with his own problems. Some of the more
common reasons for seeking to be in a gang are that kids want to feel a sense of
acceptance, other have problems in their family and the gang becomes a new family to
them, other merely want the image of being in a gang because they are able to party, meet
girls, and do drugs (Gangs and Kids). Whatever the reason may be, the fact of the matter
is kids are becoming more and more attracted to streets gangs and if something is not
done soon, young children will continue to fall victim to the current trends, and end up
getting involved with gang activities. The government has proposed a new bill in an
attempt to deter children from joining gangs and to increase punishment for those who
do. Unfortunately this new bill is receiving a lot of negative attention from various youth
advocacy groups, which leads us to ask this question; would this new bill, if passed,
effectively lead to a decrease in the prevalence of gang violence among America’s youth?