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❶There are of course historical reasons that many African Americans ended up in impoverished big-city ghettos where gangs proliferate, but gangs are by no means only a phenomenon among African Americans.


Gang Involvement
I. Introduction
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Seals gives a similar estimate on the number of gang members in the U. Citing other researchers, Seals observes that gangs are probably the main distributors of all illegal drugs, and most adolescents who commit murders in American cities are members of gangs p. Voisin writes, "male adolescents were equally as likely as female adolescents to belong to a gang" p. There has also been a significant increase in the female violent crime rate in the United States.

In , "the male Violent Crime Index rate was 8. Their conclusion is that female adolescents have been "closing the gap with male adolescents in terms of being arrested and committing more violent crimes.

In this original study, Voisin finds that "female adolescents were more likely to witness family violence, suggesting that for some of these girls, being raised in a dysfunctional family, coupled with community violence, may play some role in their gang involvement" p.

There is also a relationship between youth being arrested and youth being part of gangs, though the number of arrested youth who belong to gangs is difficult to estimate. Each year, approximately 2. Furthermore, an average of , youths age 18 and younger are incarcerated daily.

Incarceration rates, however, are not consistent across all adolescent populations. For example, the number of juvenile female detainees is increasing at a much faster rate than that of males.

It should seem obvious that African American and Hispanic youths are not more inclined to criminal behavior merely due to their ethnicity. Rather, in looking at the percentage of African American and Hispanic youth who are living in ghetto-like conditions, this number would be a much higher percentage than the overall percentage of white youths living in such conditions.

Simply put, there is a disproportionate number of African American and Hispanic youths living in quite bad economic conditions in America's cities. Under such conditions, criminality and violence become more common, as does gang membership.

As Seals points out, "gang members report an astonishingly high rate of gun violence The rate of fatherless homes is also much higher among gang members than for non-gang members" , p. Dysfunctional families, or broken homes, are quite common in impoverished communities compared to middle- and upper-class communities.

Dysfunctional families are also the largest source of runaway youth. Rafferty and Raimondi point out that a high number of runaway youths become members of street gangs. They cite a study in which homeless and runaway youths were interviewed, and which revealed that "almost half of the youths were involved in gangs or were actual gang members.

An important question that some researchers have asked is, to what extent do economic incentives encourage gang membership? This is the question Seals examined, but he points out that there is not much data to research when trying to answer it , p.

Seals used annual county unemployment rates to see if there is a correlation between higher unemployment rates and increased gang activity. After analyzing the data, Seals asserts that "the local unemployment rate is positively related to male gang participation, as the availability of legitimate jobs is a key indicator of economic prospects for low-skilled workers" p.

Seals also points to another important study that concludes the fundamental cause of urban poverty in the U. After age 16, youth membership in gangs begins to decline. Now gangs are getting new members from middle and junior high schools, even from elementary schools. Gangs are becoming a big problem not only to the people they kill, but to families and friends. They hurt their own families as well as others. Innocent people become victims to gang violence, just so that the members can get a laugh.

They do not care what they are doing to the persons family. Gangs are terrible because not only because they kill people, but they destroy homes, intimidate teens into joining their gangs, innocent people become victims, and even the gangs members are in danger because they get killed if they try to get out because they know too much information on what the gang has done. In Shelby County Tennessee alone, there are approximately known gangs and approximately 10,00 known gang members.

This number needs to be decreased because it is ruining our country because the people around the gangs live in fear for their families safety and their lives. Anybody can be a random target for gangs so therefore nobody is safe in this world. Gangs also cause an increase in the juvenile crime rate. Gang members often but aside their education because it interferes with the gangs objectives. Those gang members who are not killed usually began to abuse alcohol and drugs.

They also develop police records that limit their chances of a good job in the future. People join gangs because they feel that it gives them some sort of identity. Being part of a gang causes the member to achieve a certain status that is not available outside of the gang. Another reason why people join gangs is because they live in a gang area and can be targeted by other gangs. They feel that if they join a gangs they will have some type of support if they are attacked by a rival gang.

Some people are forced to join gangs by being intimidated because the members feel it will help their criminal activity. Others join just so they can intimidate others not involved in a gang.

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Gang Involvement. This paper gives in-depth information on gang activity in the U.S. and explores the causes of gang membership and examines several studies that have found correlations between gang membership and various life circumstances.

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GTLS is an international English language school in Canada offering English classes to International students along with local activities and trips. This sample research paper on street gangs features: + words (25 pages), an outline, APA format in-text citations, and a bibliography with 47 sources.