Youth Gangs Lindsay Taylor
Influence • The authors found that youth gang members tried to validate their gang membership due to the desire for protection. However, it was found that by joining a gang the youth actually put themselves at a greater risk of victimization. • Gangs serve a family function for its gang members. It is the esteem, stability, and connection with people that the members yearn for, and feel as though they get from their gangs. Though gangs bring about more danger, it is the mental and emotional connection that lure members in.
…Influence • Contrary to popular belief, only about 10 percent of youth living in impoverished neighborhoods join a gang. However, the number of females involved in gangs is on the rise. The author argues though subculture of violence and routine activities have been used to explain youth participation in gangs, those two factors alone are not sufficient enough • “A popular perception is that gang members are frequent drug users. During their year of membership, gang members reported significantly higher rates of marijuana and other illegal drug use. However, unlike the delinquency measures, drug use prior to and subsequent to gang membership, generally, was not found to be statistically different from the drug use of non gang youths” • The statement that since family background has been show by other researchers to predict achievement and social adjustment in school, they also found that it can predict several types of delinquency, personal and social aggression, and police encounters. When considering ethnicity, this study showed a very high rate of delinquency in whites (particularly white males) as compared to Hispanics and African Americans.
Gang Girls • Girl gang members experience an incredible amount of violence in their life regardless is they are on the streets, with their family, or in a relationship. They are not only victims of violence but sometimes they even act as the instigators or are solely the witness. For most gang girls, their “homegirls” provide refuge to them and are reliable and stable figures in their lives. • Youth gangs can be viewed as an adaptation to shortages of human and financial resources. As friendship cohorts form from these gangs, adolescents are bonded through relational ties whose ties then provide women with the ability to exploit social and economic support networks
…gang girls • He states that, “gang affiliated teenage mothers are undereducated and unemployed or hold low- income employment. Further, they suffer social impoverishment and isolation without one another’s company. Pregnant gang women pull away from gang street life, but they do not relinquish social ties to their active gang friends. These active friends are a social ‘bank’ account whose relational ties contain survival resources • Violence was shown to dramatically increase upon gang membership and first pregnancy and decrease during pregnancy and childbirth.
Intervention/ Prevention • “Trauma from exposure to family and community violence puts adolescents at risk behaviorally, emotionally, and academically”. The Juvenile Intervention and Prevention Program is a school-based gang intervention and prevention program located in Los Angeles, which targets at- risk student by using a “whole child approach- a holistic perspectivein which all aspects of a child are treated a supported” • The Juvenile Intervention and Prevention Program is extremely successful. There was a 30 percent increase of students to the normal range on the Beck Depression Inventory, the number of days of suspension dropped 50 percent, while the number of incidents of suspension dropped 90 percent. Most students showed improvement in both English and math test scores after program completion as well
Intervention/ Prevention • The study indicated that gangs hang out in a geographically small set space within neighborhoods. They argued that “knowing the features that differentiate between areas with and without set space can inform understanding of the social processes that give rise to violent street gangs and prove a jumping off point for understanding how the presence of gangs affects the level and pattern of the crime within a community.