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An overview of the gang violence issue in the united states

Gangs in the United States

They may be seeking protection from rival gangs or violent crime in general, especially when the police are distrusted or ineffective. Many are attracted to a sense of family, identityor belonging. Other motivations include social statusintimidation by gang members, pressure from friends, family traditionand the excitement of risk-taking. Studies aimed at preventing youth involvement in gangs have identified additional " risk factors " that increase one's likelihood of joining a gang.

Victims of violent crime as well as their friends and family and members of socially marginalized groups e. Academic problems such as frustration due to low performance, low expectations, poor personal relationships with teachers, and the presence of learning disabilities are all risk factors. Additionally, hyperactivity, low self-esteemand lack of role models can contribute as well. Involvement in non-gang illegal activity especially violent crime or drug use and a lack of youth jobs also increase a person's likelihood of becoming a gang member.

Gang membership is also associated with early sexual activity and illegal gun ownership. If a child has thought about or already joined a gang, support groups can help the parents with the next steps. The availability of sports or interest groups is said to reduce the interest in associating with delinquent individuals [11] When youth join in other social groups, such as a church group or study group, it increases the strength of their social bonds, which when broken or weakened is a cause for delinquent participation.

Prison gangs in the United States American prison gangs, like most street gangs, are formed for protection against other gangs.

For many members, reaching prison gang status shows the ultimate commitment to the gang.

Many prison gangs are racially oriented. Gang umbrella organizations like the Folk Nation and People Nation have originated in prisons. On July 28, 2006, after a six-year federal investigation, four leaders of the gang were convicted of racketeeringmurderand conspiracy charges.

Working collaboratively, the gangs engage in drug trafficking, identity theft, and other white collar crime using contacts in the banking system. Motorcycle gangs[ edit ] The United States has a significant population of motorcycle gangs, which are groups that use motorcycle clubs as organizational structures for conducting criminal activity. Organized crime Organized criminal groups are a subtype of gang with a hierarchical leadership structure and in which individuals commit crime for personal gain.

The activities of organized criminal groups are highly varied, and include drug, weapons, and human trafficking including prostitution and kidnappingart theftmurder including contract killings and assassinationscopyright infringementcounterfeiting, identity theft, money launderingextortionillegal gambling, and terrorism.

The complexity and seriousness of the crimes committed by global crime groups pose a threat not only to law enforcement but to democracy and legitimate economic development as well. Some of the most notorious and dangerous gangs have evolved from youth gangs.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s an increase in violence in the United States took place and this was due primarily to an increase in violent acts committed by people under the age of 20.

Youth gangs have increasingly been creating problems in school and correctional facilities. However youth gangs are said to be an important social institution for low income youths and young adults because they often serve as cultural, social, and economic functions which are no longer served by the family, school or labor market.

Young people can be attracted to joining a youth gang for a number of reasons. They provide a degree of order and solidarity for their members and make them feel like part of a group or a community. For this reason, more and more youth who earlier may have not condoned gang behavior are more willing, even challenged to experiment with gang-like activity [25] Youth gangs may be an ever-present feature of urban culture that change over time in its form, social meaning and antisocial behavior.

However, in the United States, youth gangs have taken an especially disturbing form and continue to permeate society. A member of Mara Salvatrucha Hispanic gangs form the largest group of ethnic-based gangs in the United States.

The initial intention was to unite all Latinos into a collective struggle against oppression and to help each other overcome the problems of racism and prejudice that newly arriving Latino immigrants were experiencing.

Hence, the name "Latin Kings and Queens", which as it denotes, is a reference to members of all Latino heritages. They organized themselves as a vanguard for their communities. Like the Black Panthersthe Young Lordsand many other groups perceiving social injustices directed at their ethnic group,[ citation needed ] the Latin Kings were broken as a movement.

They lost touch with their roots and grew into one of the largest and most infamous criminal gangs in the United States. The group's members became involved in crimes including murder, drug trafficking, robberies and other organized criminal activities. The largest Dominican gang, Los Trinitariosis the fastest-growing Hispanic gang.

Mara Salvatrucha is one of the most dangerous gangs in the United States, and its activities include drug and weapons trafficking, auto theftburglaryassaultand murder including contract killings.

Immigration and Customs Enforcementand in September 2005 the gang was targeted by raids against its members, in which 660 people were arrested across the United States.

The US treasury department has imposed sanctions on members in MS-13 by freezing assets that are related to the gang's activities. The gang was involved with drug dealing, home burglaries including two involving rapesassault and attempted murder. Two members are serving long prison sentences for the attempted murder of a police officer.

They are generally divided between Sudanese gangs, Ethiopian gangs and Somali gangs. Largely keeping to themselves, they have engaged in violent crime, weapons trafficking, human, sex and drug trafficking, and credit card fraud.

Among the most aggressive of these Sudanese gangs is the African Pride gang. Some Sudanese gang members also possess strategic and weapons knowledge gained during conflicts in Sudan. Female gangs in the United States Although female gang membership is less common than male membership, women and girls can become fully-fledged members of mixed-gender or exclusively female gangs.

These gangs operate as functioning units, coed gangs, or female auxiliaries to pre-existing male gangs. Gang presence in the United States military Gang members in uniform use their military knowledge, skills, and weapons to commit and facilitate various crimes.

As of April 2011, the NGIC has identified members of at least 53 gangs whose members have served in or are affiliated with US military.

  • Working collaboratively, the gangs engage in drug trafficking, identity theft, and other white collar crime using contacts in the banking system;
  • On July 28, 2006, after a six-year federal investigation, four leaders of the gang were convicted of racketeering , murder , and conspiracy charges.

The Sun-Times began investigating the gang activity in the military after receiving photos of gang graffiti showing up in Iraq. EnglishIrishand German. The increasing social isolation felt by African-American communities across the nation continued unabated in the 1980s and 90s, leading to higher rates of social pathologies, including violence. In the aftermath of the riots, leaders of the Bloods and the Crips announced a truce spearheaded by Compton's then mayor Walter R.

But after only a few months of relative harmony, tensions between Los Angeles County's more than 100,000 gang members in February 1993 began to raise the murder rates, rising to resemble previous levels. In 1994, Mary Beth Pelz, a criminologist at University of Houston—Downtownsaid that Texas lacked "a rich history of street gangs" compared to other parts of the United States.

She said Houston area gangs began to branch out to newer developments in the 1980s. Individual " cliques " of gangs, defined by streets, parts of streets, apartment complexes, or parts of apartment complexes, act as individual groups. Texas "Cliques" tend to be headed by leaders called "OG"s short for " original gangsters " and each "clique" performs a specific activity or set of activities in a given area, such as controlling trafficking of recreational drugs and managing prostitution.

Crack money now could be used to purchase unprecedented amounts of weaponry, and as newly armed gang members began to fight over 'turf', or the territory in which gangs would run their lucrative drug-trades, violence soared, [69] as the FBI's national data of gang-related homicides show: