Canadian Gangs Essay

1343 words - 5 pages

Statistics Canada has done research on identifying the facts that are contributed to the definition of a youth gang member. Partnered with the Montreal Police Service, Statistics Canada was able to generate the definition of a gang member: "An organized group of adolescents and/or young adults who rely on group intimidation and violence, and commit criminal acts in order to gain power and recognition and/or control certain areas of unlawful activity [2] (Statistics Canada, 2008).

Gangs have been around for many years; the founders of some of the original gangs in the United States will be discussed. The statistics of youth gangs in Canada will be presented followed by an in depth discussion about why young adults can be persuade into joining a gang. Often females do not contribute that the youth gangs in society; a discussion about the increasing presence of females and their roles among male dominate gangs. Young adults from Surrey, British Columbia, speak up about youth gangs and the influence of their presents within their community in a documentary called Warrior Boyz.

Origin of Gangs
The Bloods and the Crips are the two well-known gang families that started in the 1940’s in Los Angeles as a defense approach by the blacks against the whites (Dorais, Corriveau, 2009, p 8). Gangs are most often visible in specific areas such as restaurants, bars, metro stations, etc.: “The appearance of street gangs in Quebec and Canada dates from the 1980’s, when these groups started to become larger, more visible, and more disruptive to authorities and residents (Dorais, Corriveau, 2009, p 8-9). There are six definable features that can be used to identify the presents of a gang: “ a structured or degree of organization, an identifiable leadership, a specific territory, regular association with and among several juvenile delinquents, special goals pursued by the group, and participation in illegal activities (Dorais, Corriveau, 2009, p12).

Research by Statistics Canada has revealed that: “Canada has 434 youth gangs with roughly 7,000 members nationally” (Statistics Canada, 2008). The research also identified that: “Ontario has the highest number of youth gangs and youth gang members in absolute terms, with 216 youth gangs and 3,320 youth gang members. Saskatchewan is second (28 youth gangs and 1,315 members), followed by British Columbia (102 youth gangs and 1,027 members) [9]” (Statistics Canada, 2008). “Nationally, the vast majority of youth gang members are male (94%) and fall within the age range of 16 to 18 years (39%); almost half (48%) of all youth gang members are under the age of 18” (Hornick. J, Macrae, L., Mellor. B., Pauls. M, 2005, p. 2).

Female Presence Among Gangs
Although it has been well known that males tend to make up the majority of gang members, an increasing number of female gangs have been showing up; Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba are just a few of the provinces where female gangs are popping...

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