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Gang Involvement Essay

3737 words - 15 pages

Axia College of University of PhoenixJuvenile Justice 225November 02, 2007Gang membership and gang violence is a large concern not only by the government but also by law enforcement agencies, private business, communities and families all across the nation. Understanding some predictors and risks factors can aid in the prevention of gang involvement. Correctional and detention facilities aid in not only punishment but also aid in deterring further gang activity. The juvenile courts render not only punishment to delinquent youths but they also satisfy retribution to the victim, and the community. Numerous prevention programs helps youths to become productive citizens in society and render solutions for parents' and the community. Then there are the guiding principles, which lay the groundwork down for treatment strategies for our youths involved in gang activity. However, in order to understand why youths of today get involved in gang activity we need to first look at where gangs matriculated. We first need to look at some street gang history.In the 1800's, gangs evolved from groups of people of petty criminals to ruthless multi-million-dollar drug cartels. According to Viegel, immigrants where considered to be losers by societies mainstream. Immigrant's daily tasks were to stay alive. The immigrant's found protection in numbers. By doing so, they banned together as surrogate families. Gang involvement started in Philadelphia, New York and Boston by immigrants. The first known violence of gang activity was by Candle Kites (Viegel, 2007). Irish immigrants poured into New York. These immigrants found the conditions in the United States worse that what they left. The Irish immigrants had no skills, no education and no literacy. The Irish immigrants bound together forming gangs.In 1826, the first known gang leader was Mr. Coleman (Viegel, 2007). His gang was known as the Five Pointers (Viegel). Other gangs formed as well. One other known gang was the 40Gang Involvement 3Thieves. In 1836, Mr. Coleman was convicted for murdering his wife for not bringing in enough money from her corn sales (Viegel). A few years later, according to Viegel, Coleman was hanged in the streets of New York. After the hanging of Coleman, other gangs moved into the inner city of New York. These gangs where known as the Dead Rabbits, The Roach Guards, and The Eastman's (Viegel). These gangs introduced a more vigilant and violent method of gang life. Irish immigrants where not the only people who formed gangs. Other immigrant gangs were Jewish immigrants, Italian immigrants and Asian immigrants who become involved with gang activities (Viegel).In the 1830's, 40's, and 50's police officers banded together to try to control gang violence and involvement (Viegel, 2007). In 1850 gangs, involvement in New York was at an unprecedented level. Within New York, gang involvement was 3,000 strong (Viegel). In the mid 1800's, gangs helped politicians be elected (Viegel). These elected...

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