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Criminology

Introduction

            Gangs comprise of a major security threat to the society and hence the need for the law enforcers to take steps towards eliminating them. The criminal street gangs are among the most serious crime issues in many cities. The major activities of gangs include assaults, shootings, homicides, and violent home robberies. The activities account for the largest single and personal threats to the public safety. The history of gangs in United States dates back to the 1800s. There are varied reasons that lured people to join gangs. Some joined then to gain a sense of identity, for defense against the rival groups, and also for developing a unified grouping. Gang activities affect various areas of the society and also in law enforcement. The jurisdiction of the gang activities is diverse and mostly thrives on the highways, the Internet, and the society. They intimidate and infect whoever they come across.

            Gang activities affect the schools, the economy, law enforcement activities, and also the participants. In places where gang activities are common, there is a close relationship between the gangs and the availability of drugs in the schools. Most of the drug-related activities are as a result of the close relationships between some students and external gangs (Delaney, 2013). The other effect of the gang involvement in schools is the likelihood of violent victimization within the school environment.

            Gang related activities have adverse impacts on the participants. There are many youths who take drugs and involve themselves with violent related activities due to their involvement in the gang activities. Most of the participants in the gang activities are at a great risk of arrest, juvenile court referrals, detentions, and imprisonment. The gang activities affect the life chances of the youngsters if they continually take part in the activities. Gangs have a significant impact on the economy of a particular state. It is not easy to substantiate the economic cost of the gang crimes since most of them go unreported. In America, an approximate of 655 million US dollars is the total cost of the crime related activities and gang activities form a large percentage out of it. Some gangs have entrepreneurial organizations that manage extensive drug operations, in a number of states.

            Gang activities also affect the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies. They give a hard time to the law enforcers since most of the gangs have well-established groups with weapons. They challenge the attempts of the law enforcers in maintaining security in their areas of jurisdiction.

            Street gangs in United States date back to the emergence of the East Coast in 1783 (Delaney, 2013) It was towards the end of the American Revolution. However, the serious street gangs emerged in the early days of the nineteenth century. Most of the street gangs started as a result of immigration and poverty. The early immigrants groups settled in the urban areas in search for a better life. They formed communities having similar characteristics of struggling to make ends meet. They had limited skills, hence difficulty in getting work and places to live. They could not adjust to the urban life, and hence resulted in forming the street gangs. The earliest gangs in States like New York had no criminal motives. They were employed and lived comfortable lives but still engaged in violent activities as a way of life. The gangs formed part of the social life among the young males. The more dangerous street gangs emerged in the 1820s from continued disorder in the city slums, saloons, and dance halls. Gangs continued to become more complex, and hence started involving in criminal activities. The modern day street gangs engage in criminal activities as well as having drug distribution networks. A significant trend in gang activities is the increasing gang-related violence due to competition among the gangs in need of gaining control of their territories (Egley, Howell & Major, 2004). The common street gang activities are in drug trafficking, robbery, high tech theft, and ******.

            Gangs are still thriving in the present world despite the many measures imposed to eliminate them. One of the reasons for them to thrive is the nature of their formation. The youths who join the gangs have varied reasons. Some are in search of identity, status, new and exciting experiences, access to drugs, and monetary gains through illegal trade. Many youths have the notion that they will join the gangs for protection and obtaining things they could not get to their normal status. Thus, the reasons described drive many youths into the gangs despite the attempts to stop them. Another reason gangs thrive is the lack of strict measures for dealing with the gang-related activities. Most of the gang violence activities go unreported to the relevant authorities. Hence, the gang members find it easy to continue their activities without interference from the law enforcers. In addition, the reported cases take long to conclude, and others lack evidence hence end up in futility. Another reason for gang activities thriving; is the protection they have by some influential people who benefit from the drug-related activities. The gangs continue their activities without fear of facing the law since they have a strong shield from the law enforcers. Therefore, it is challenging to deal with the gang-related activities due to the many reasons that make them thrive (Melde & Esbensen, 2013).

            There are significant problems that exist with juvenile gangs and their members. The involvement of juveniles in the gangs is a rising threat to the attempts of handling violence among them. The youngsters who take part in the gangs are victims and perpetrators of violence. The gang-related youth is more likely to participate in abuse and high-risk ****** behaviors. In addition, they experience long-term health and social problems including school drop-outs, young parenthood, and unstable lives. The youths who join the juvenile gangs develop a likelihood of engaging in violence and hence reduce their life-course outcomes. Juvenile gangs encourage active participation in delinquency, drug use and abuse, drug trafficking, and violent related crime activities (Delaney, 2013). The young kids who take part in the gang activities are potential crime victims. In addition, they pose challenges to their parents and guardians who have the mandate of taking care of them.

            Some efforts can be imposed to slow down the growth of the gangs. The best intervention strategies in the fight against the gangs are that; all the relevant stakeholders play their roles effectively (Decker, Pyrooz & Moule, 2014). Parents have a role in developing their children in ways that encourage them to have responsible social and personal behavior. The public health practitioners have a role in making the gang members understand the impact of direct involvement in crime. Law enforcers should adopt better ways of preventing kids from joining the gangs by working together with the public health, school, and the community. The schools, communities, and the families that directly interact with the kids have a responsibility of lowering the involvement of young people into the gang-related activities (Curry, Decker & Pyrooz, 2014).

Conclusion
            In conclusion, gangs are a major security threat in many parts of the world and account for a significant number of criminal activities. Gangs affect the community in various areas including the schools, economy, participants, and the law enforcement efforts. Gang activities started in the wake of massive immigrations to the urban areas and also due to poverty. The involvement of youngsters in juvenile gangs is a major problem that requires a concerted effort from all the stakeholders.

Bibliograph

Egley, A., Jr., Howell, J. C., and Major, A. K. (2004) Recent Patterns of Gang Problems in the     United States: Results From the 1996–2002 National Youth Gang Surveys. In F. A. Esbensen, S. G. Tibbetts, and L. Gaines (eds.), American Youth Gangs at the Millennium (pp.          90–108). Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc

Howell, James C.,    OJJDP Juvenile Justice Bulletin, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention, December 2010, NCJ 231116.

Huff, C. Ronald (Ed), Gangs in America, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, 1990   

Melde, C. and Esbensen, F. A. (2013) Gangs and violence: Disentangling the impact of gang        membership on the level and nature of offending. Journal of Quantitative Criminology,            29(2), 143–166.

Sbensen, F. A. and Huizinga, D. (1993) Gangs, drugs, and delinquency in a survey of urban         youth. Criminology, 31, 565–89

Simon, T. R., Ritter, N. M., and Mahendra, R. R. (2013) Changing Course: Preventing Gang        Membership. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice and Atlanta, Georgia:           National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in nursing writing services. If you need a similar paper you can place your order from best custom term papers.

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