Response#6_LSJ_375 - social service programs. Firstly,...

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Response: Adult Gang Members, Drugs and Work Why has the drug trade become so desirable for inner-city gang members? Specifically, Hagedorn struggles not only with this idea but also with the concept that many young adult drug-dealers are not “committed long-term participants”. He supports this assumption by classifying four different and distinct types of male adult gang drug-dealers; homeboys, dope fiends, new jacks and legits. In addition, he concludes this qualitative study with “our prisons are filled disproportionately with minority drug offenders like our homeboys, who are being punished for the crime of not accepting poverty.” Hagedorn supports his argument with a multitude of personal interviews and socioeconomic analysis. He compares and contrasts the economic differences between street level drug dealing with the low level labor market. Specifically, he maintains that low level offenders (such as legits and homeboys) would become productive citizens if they were allowed to enter skilled professions via job training or
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Unformatted text preview: social service programs. Firstly, although I agree with Hagedorn's support of social service job reform for low income urban youth, I feel that his article paints a romantic and slighted approach to the situation. Cocaine is a drug that is illegal for a reason. It has had a detrimental effect not only on public health but also on public safety. To allow certain “minority offenders” like “homeboys” alternative sentences invites our wall against this toxin to be chipped away. Standard sentencing maintains the idea that our society will not tolerate abuse of distribution laws. In addition, support for legislated sentencing guidelines, supports and backs our nations stance on the unacceptable nature of drug dealing. Hagedorn's softened approach toward one specific ethnographic group demonstrates an inequality in his logic. Laws are created by the people and enforced on ALL people in an unbiased and fair manner. In other words, special conditions do not apply....
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2008 for the course LSJ 375 taught by Professor Herbert during the Fall '07 term at University of Washington.

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