311 IMPACTS OF GANG LIFESTYLES After awhile with the gang living a life of

311 impacts of gang lifestyles after awhile with the

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3.11 IMPACTS OF GANG LIFESTYLES After awhile with the gang, living a life of murder and mayhem, gang members can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as it is most commonly called. They lack the ability to feel emotion for killing someone. It becomes a norm and a fact of life as they live it. A gang member once said to me, in complete disgust, when I asked him how he felt about killing a man, “Why should I feel anything for him, he ain’t nothin’ to me.” It can become surreal to them. Many of the youth gang members I knew came from broken homes, domestic violence, and/or homes where it was the norm for members to go to prison and to belong to a gang. Gang membership is passed down in families. It is a tradition. Gang colors, tattoos, and other identifiers are all part of this tradition. It is pos- sible that some gang-involved families could have probation, parole and children or social service workers passing each other on their way into or out of these homes. There is likely to be information that each public sector agency could legally share with each other, in order to truly put together a plan to assist members of this family, especially the children. Gang membership begins most often with an initiation, usually a beat-in for a male and sexed-in for a female. There are some variations to this depending on the level of violence of the gang. Members don’t 34 Gangs and Law Enforcement
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automatically get their “colors” upon initiation. They have to earn them. Usually they are told to commit a crime. As they rise in the ranks from foot soldier to enforcer/assassin to the management level, they are now coordinating the crime from behind closed doors. They’ve done prison time probably more than once and don’t want to go back for another count. They use the new gang members to carry out the hits and conduct the criminal activity. 3.12 GANG GRAFFITI INTERPRETATION Gang graffiti has gone through some changes since I learned how to interpret it in 1989. But, the major gang symbols and hand signs have not changed. A major change has been an effort to hide their gang’s symbols in other artwork. I first saw this happening in juvenile correc- tional institutions in the artwork created by the inmates in the institu- tion-provided art classes. They were then allowed to hang their work in their dorms or cottages. Violence followed. I was asked to tour the facil- ities and found that rival gangs were housed in the same dorms/cot- tages. Their artwork was an attempt on the part of each to claim that area as the turf for their gang. Most often it was the Gangster Disciples (set of the Folks) disrespecting the Vice Lords (set of the People). These are Chicago gangs that have managed to spread through anywhere from 30 to 45 states.
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  • Winter '18
  • Salome Vejar
  • Gang

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