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Street Gang (youth gang)
- Street Gang: an association of youthful individuals, generally ranging in age from 13 to early 20s
- who exhibit:
- 1) a gang name and recognizable symbols
- 2) A defined geographic territory
- 3) regular meeting patterns
- 4) an organized, continuous course of criminality
what decade were gangs first studied?
the approximate number of gangs currently in the U.S.
846,000 members to 31,000 gangs
Gang Member characteristics (personal, home life, etc.
- 1) 90% are males
- 2) majority are black or hispanic males.
- 3) white males, pacific rim males, and female population is increasing
Common traits: leave or are expelled for violent behavior from school early
membership is multigenerational (parents, children) Father or other family member was a gang member (uncle)
female members gangs
- female gang members:
- 1) early sexual activity
- 2) delinquency
- 3) strong susceptibility to peer pressure
- Female gangs:
- often a branch of male gangs
- some form fully independent gangs
- over 100 "girl gangs" active in the US
Social heirarchy of gang
and each level's characteristics
- 1) Founding members: Original Gangster (OG) - Held in high esteem
- 2) Hard-core Members: 16 - 24 yrs old, totally dedicated to gang life
- 3) new members: Baby gangsters (BGs) - 12 to 16 yrs old, drug couriers, small time drug dealers, and wannabes.
- 4) street lookouts: Tiny gangsters (TGs)
- a) often affiliated gang members
- b)some are outsiders who hope using graffiti will help them to gain acceptance into a particular street gang.
- c) often opperate in groups known as tagging crews
Associated violence (violence associated with gangs) - expressive violence
- Gangs are responsible for
- expressive violence: Destructive behavior, no practical purpose. (violence for the sake of violence) ... opposite of Instrumental violence (violence that has a purpose, or a goal for well being)...
takes form of random beatings, arson, auto theft, and frequent use of firearms
criteria used by police to determine if a crime is gang related (8)
if it meets 1 of these criteria
1) Recruitment: crimes related to recruitment- such as intimidation by word or action
2) Identification: crimes related to- tagging, gang signs, symbols, colors etc.
3) Vice: Crimes related to vice: typically involving the distribution of drugs; cocaine, crack, meth, marijuana, pcp, or heroin.... may also involve gambling, or prostitution
4) Extortion: crimes related to efforts to exact payment- as tribute to, or "protection" from individuals or businesses
5) Retaliation: Criminal acts of revenge for real or imagined insults against the gang by rival street gang members
5) Prestige: Crimes related to glorify the gang or to gain rank or peer status within the group
6) Internal conflict: Crimes stemming from internal conflict or power struggles within the leadership or rank and file of the gang.
8) Territory violations: crimes related to turf wars- guarding a gang's turf, or showing disrespect to another gang's territory
Percentage of violent crime committed by juvenile?
- 1) juveniles account for 20% of all violent crime
- 2) far out of proportion to their population number
- 3) gangs account for a large proportion