Homeworks academic service


A research paper on juvenile gangs in america

It also looks at the question of whether economic incentive is a factor in gang membership, and whether or not peer pressure increases violent crimes among gang members. The paper concludes by exploring various experts' proposals for reducing the amount of youth joining gangs in America. The first documented youth gang was in the late 1700s in New York, so gangs have been part of American culture for well over two centuries Arinde, 2006, p. Most of the youth who get involved with gangs come from poor neighborhoods in large cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.

Seals 2009 expresses the general consensus on gangs thus: For the past 80 years, ethnographic research has linked the behavioral patterns of the urban under-privileged to street gang formation and proliferation. This literature shows that gang activity is most common among impoverished young males and concludes that gang participation is the manifestation of greater societal pressures on these individuals p.

Kingsbury 2008 also notes that "gangs are perpetuated by a cycle of despair that is nearly impossible to break," and gives us a revealing a research paper on juvenile gangs in america.

Since the 1980s, gang-related homicide has been the main cause of death for young black men between the ages of 15 and 34 p.

There 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.

  1. Voisin writes, "male adolescents were equally as likely as female adolescents to belong to a gang" p.
  2. Since the 1980s, gang-related homicide has been the main cause of death for young black men between the ages of 15 and 34 p. 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.
  3. Obtaining a clear picture can be difficult, however.
  4. Under such conditions, criminality and violence become more common, as does gang membership. For example, the number of juvenile female detainees is increasing at a much faster rate than that of males.

Gangs arise from every ethnicity in America, and we should examine some studies and reliable statistics in order to get a clearer picture of the problem of gangs in America. Obtaining a clear picture can be difficult, however.

Kingsbury 2008 points out that "gauging the true scope of the gang problem is difficult, chiefly because law enforcement lacks a common definition of a gangster or what makes a particular crime gang-related" p. Captain Eric Adams, who has worked for years in New York City law enforcement, points out an additional problem in gathering accurate information on gangs. He asserts that, in New York, "The police department won't properly classify certain crimes as gang-related, and so you don't know if there is an increase or decrease in the crime rate … It's a public relations exercise.

They think if they don't say it, then it's not happening" cited in Arinde, 2006, p. An important study that attempts to gather accurate information on gang activity in America is known as the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth NLSY97which began collecting data annually from 1997. That study gives the following definition for the concept of gang-involvement: By gangs, we mean a group that hangs out together, wears gang colors or clothes, has set clear boundaries of its territory or turf, protects its members and turf against other rival gangs through fighting or threats cited in Seals, 2009, p.

Gang Involvement

Seals gives a similar estimate on the number of gang members in the U. Citing other researchers, Seals 2009 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 1980, "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.

Common Characteristics 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 109,000 youths age 18 and younger are incarcerated daily. Incarceration rates, however, are not consistent across all adolescent populations.

Gang Involvement Research Paper Starter

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 34. The rate of fatherless homes is also much higher among gang members than for non-gang members" 2009, 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 2009 point out that a high number of runaway youths become members of street gangs. They cite a 2003 study in which 602 homeless and runaway youths were interviewed, and which revealed that "almost half of the youths were involved in gangs or were actual gang members.

Economic Factors An important a research paper on juvenile gangs in america 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 2009, 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. Thus, "the rise in gang participation until age sixteen could be the result of economic opportunity provided by gangs to those unable to find legitimate employment," and that the decrease in gang participation after youth have reached sixteen years of age may be from youth having more opportunities for legitimate employment p. There are other positive and negative correlations that create a clearer profile for those youth whom are likely to join gangs: The entire section is 4,430 words.

Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this 19-page Gang Involvement study guide and get instant access to the following: Research Paper Starter You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and 300,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.