in comparison to chronic offenders racial and ethnic minorities and inmates

In comparison to chronic offenders racial and ethnic

This preview shows page 34 - 36 out of 45 pages.

in comparison to chronic offenders, racial and ethnic minorities, and inmates with weak familial ties or social support. As suggested earlier, that inmates whom were always involved in gangs were negatively involved in prison violence was, we presume, a function of the department of corrections to identify and appropriately supervise those inmates who posed the greatest gang threat. In fact, our findings largely conflict with the recent study by Gaes et al. (2002, p. 381) who found that gang membership increased violence and almost all other forms of prison misconduct whether these behaviors were rule infractions or actual crimes. Moreover, their gang effects were robust controlling for measures of violent risk, history of violence, and other relevant background factors. What accounts for these discrepant findings? Gaes et al. ’s (2002) study was in many ways vastly superior to the current effort in that the sample was the entire male population of the Bureau of Prisons and they controlled for 27 separate gangs. Comparatively, the current effort used proxies of risk based on street gang, prison gang and interaction gang involvement. Thus, it is possible that the robust gang effect does not fully emerge until the various types of gangs are disaggregated. The discordant findings could also reflect the behavioral differences between state prisoners and inmates in the federal system.
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34 Still, the importation model of inmate behavior should be considered a project under construction. The current findings lend credence to Allender and Marcell’s (2003) advisement about the assorted threats posed by inmates roughly classified as street gang members, prison gang members or career criminals. The enduring importance of pre-prison indicators of criminality speak to the continued salience of the importation model although it is clear that further refinement of all theoretical perspectives is warranted before they are successfully integrated (Allender and Marcell’s 2003). Some benefits could come from joining a gang even if the gang-banger ends up in prison, dead, or may lose all of his or her previous friends and family (Decker, 2002). Some benefits for the member would be the companionship of others in the gang, he or she gets protection (even if joining a gang gets them even more enemies), the member will have a sense of belonging due to their new-found gang “family”, and he or she may even get training on how to fight. A few other benefits may be a raised self-esteem and he or she will get more power and have access to fast money (even if it's not legal) (Decker, 2002). After knowing these benefits that gang members have, we need to make it possible for them to get these personal benefits without feeling that it is necessary to join a gang. Of course, it's not possible for us to service them in receiving the fast money that some of the members want (or need) but other benefits like a sense of belonging or companionship are possible to have the child or teen feel without joining a gang. Knowing about these benefits will make it easier for everyone to be able assist in the
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