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Juvenile Gangs Essay

1288 words - 5 pages

Juvenile GangsJuvenile gangs are emerging more each day in our country. From ethnic groups like the bloods and crips to Caucasian organizations like the KKK, more and more juveniles are choosing to involve themselves in such violent gangs. In cities with new gang problems, 90% are juveniles. (Hamlin 1998) In order to slow down juvenile gangs in our country we must educate ourselves on the dynamics these groups live by.The typical age span for people to join gangs today is twelve to twenty five years of age, but some members are joining as young as the age of eight years old. (Hamlin 1998) This brings one to ask the obvious question of why. Why are these children choosing to live such a life of violence and crime? There are many factors that apply to this question. Lonely juveniles who suffer from depression are likely to join gangs. Children who are often picked on are looking for acceptance and through a gang they get exactly that. Youth who come from poor, broken families are also susceptible to join gangs. Most of these juveniles are simply looking for acceptance because they are not getting enough of it where it should be coming from.Teenage gangs are on the rise in the U.S. It is estimated that there are more than 24,500 different juvenile gangs in our country and over 772,500 juveniles are members. (Youth Gangs and Violence) Racism is a large factor for juveniles joining a gang. When people, especially young people are denied certain things because of their race, they are apt to join an anti-establishment group and rebel against their racial enemies. (Lees 2000) When young people find they are targeted or have a social disadvantage because of their ethnicity they tend to find others who feel the same way, thus creating organizations. Since young people are easy to manipulate, it may not be a difficult task to get them to join.Juveniles may also choose to join gangs for poverty factors. Many teenagers living in poverty are likely to feel hopeless about getting products they want and need and often turn to this violent life style in order to get these things. Young people living this lifestyle find it extremely difficult to live any kind of productive life because they have no money to do so. An easy resort of earning money is joining a gang that is highly involved in drug trades. (Lees 2000) These gangs are trafficking large amounts of illegal drugs and are making extreme amounts of money. Juveniles thrive off having nice things and flashing large amounts of money around. They are blinded by the notion of easy money and don't see or don't care about the risks or violence involved.Usually with poverty also comes a large lack of a support network. It is very possible that these juveniles are looking for a surrogate family. These teens joining are obviously lacking understanding, affection, and affirmation in their households. (Why Teens and Preteens Join Street Gangs) It is likely these youths feel highly neglected and alienated where they are...

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