gang - Danny Ezraty Hdev 402 Professor Crews Research Brief...

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Danny Ezraty Hdev 402 Professor Crews Research Brief Youth Gang Violence In The United States Part 1: Introduction With children in the world today facing more issues and being forced to make tougher decisions, many children have turned to gangs for hope. Gang Violence has become a rising problem in the United States over the past few years and gangs continue to grow by the day. According to SafeYouth.org a gang is a group of teens and young adults that hang out together and are involved in joint violent, illegal, or criminal activity. They generally give themselves a common name or symbol, and they often choose to wear a certain type of clothing or to display some other identifying item. Street gangs have been strongly connected with drug sales, especially Crack. Many commit crimes such as burglaries , car theft , and armed robbery . In many cases gang members have been known to murder people, whether it be a member of a rival gang, a traitor within their gang, police officers, and sometimes even innocent civilians (Wikipedia). Teens that are gang members are much more likely than other teens to commit serious and violent crimes. For example, a survey in Denver found that while only 14% of teens were gang members, they were responsible for committing 89% of the serious violent crimes (SafeYouth). 1
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The most recent survey conducted by the National Youth Gang Center estimates the 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?
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