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Crime Security Gangs
It is the high time that crime prevention in the United States of America started being viewed as a social problem in as much as it is a security problem. Statistics on crime for instance on incarceration trends points to the fact that there is a direct correlation between poverty and marginalization in resource distribution. 65% of all incarceration cases in the United States of America in 2002 were racial minorities such as African Americans and Hispanics. Comparing the above high incidence of incarceration amongst African Americans and Hispanics to their total population this raises the question as to why a population constituting of less than 25% of the American whole population should account for a high incarceration rate of 65%.
The answer to this question is the fact that crime is fueled by poverty and therefore any effective preventive measures must address this anomality. Welsh, Brandon and David Farrington eds. (2006). Although the mandate of addressing social injustice or resource distribution falls without the mandate of the Department of Homeland Security, partnership between the department of Homeland Security and other department such as education and justice can see joint programs initiated by the Department of Homeland Security and other partners to address insecurity and crime in the United States of America. Welsh, Brandon and David Farrington eds. (2006).
Gangs have undergone a vicious renaissance that is now threatening the social fabric of our contemporary society. The United States has been known a haven for gangsters; streets of Los Angels have notoriously witnessed a resurgence of Latino gangs in the wake of the 20th century. According to California Department of Justice, the year 2002 registered over 300,000 gang members in California alone. Gunn, J, Maden, A. & Swinton, M. (2005).This in itself potent a major security threat that calls for a multi-faceted and comprehensive response in almost all sectors of the entire community. The California Penal Code 186.22 delineates street gangs as a bunch of three or more persons is having a universal name or widespread identifying symbol, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in criminal life style. Siegel, Welsh, Senna (1994)Get help with your essay from our expert essay writers...
Evolution of the Gangs
After the end of the Second World War, the dawn of the 50s Mexican street gangs wedged an aggression against the U.S soldiers. Through a highly character development of the Maravilla gang based in the East of Los Angels, the Mexican street gangs created an ethnic pride.
Chicano is a term that was coined to illustrate the purity of the race during this period, where puro was used to delineate thoroughgoing Mexican. Siegel, Welsh, Senna (1994) The gangs of the 60s were the precursor for the drug culture that saw the involvement of the Mexican streets gangs who traded manufactured and used drugs. The mid 60s so the emergence of the non-traditional Mexican street gang who labelled themselves as the 18th street gang. Research indicates that this gang might have been one of the kinds in breaking the barricades that enhances mixed race gangs. Britain Institute of Criminology (2003).
Gang activities escalated on a time high as from 1990 onwards with gun taking centre stage. Lethal drugs like Methamphetamine have been consumed by this gangs that have professionalized street violence and criminal reputations. By 1996 their was a widespread documentation of a mushrooming gang sub culture in rural America. These gangs mostly come from the African-American and Hispanic affiliate
Overview of Substance Abuse Treatment in the Juvenile Justice System
More than one-third of all arrests in the U.S. are related to drug and alcohol use, and almost $24 billion was spent in 2000 to incarcerate 1.2 million nonviolent offenders (Kumpfer & Alvarado, 1998; Schiraldi et al., 2000). Due in part to the rate of illicit drug use among youth, in recent years there has been an increasing burden on the juvenile justice system, (Dickinson & Crowe, 1997). Between 1986 and 1996, there was a 291% increase in the rate at which young people were incarcerated because of drug involvement (Schiraldi et al., 2000). Interviews and drug tests from 1998 with more than 3,500 recent juvenile arrestees had over half testing positive for marijuana use (NIJ, 1999). Research suggests that a relatively small group of serious and violent juvenile offenders who are serious drug users accounts for a disproportionate amount of all serious crimes committed by delinquents (VanderWaal, 2001).
Substance abuse and delinquency are often closely related. Research indicates that juvenile drug use is connected to recurring, chronic and violent delinquency that can continue well into adulthood (VanderWaal, 2001). Furthermore, a 1999 Australian study found that substance use variables do predict involvement in violent crime (Lennings, 2003). Common factors such as school and family problems, negative peer groups, a lack of neighborhood social controls, and a history of physical or sexual abuse can lead to higher risk for both drug abuse and delinquency (Dickinson & Crowe, 1997).
Despite this prominence of substance abuse problems among juvenile delinquents, the research literature suggests that there is far from unanimous agreement as to what constitutes effective treatment for young offenders. While a meta-analysis by Lipsey & Wilson (1998) of 200 studies found that intervention programs can reduce the reoffending rates of serious delinquents, VanderWaal (2001) concluded that few interventions have demonstrated consistently positive scientific outcomes in breaking the juvenile drug-crime cycle. Butts and Mears (2001) argue that the earlier an intervention occurs, the more likely it is to be cost-effective and to reduce negative outcomes such as criminal behavior. Yet in a 1997 survey of short- and long-term juvenile correctional facilities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that only 36% offered some type of substance abuse treatment (Altschuler & Brash, 2004). In addition, there is a shortage of slots for treatment in correctional facilities as well as in the community, making it all the more important that treatment be designed effectively and efficiently (Altschuler & Brash, 2004).
Research shows that risk and protective factors affecting recidivism vary depending on the age and developmental stage of the youth (Altschuler & Brash, 2004). Early problems such as family dysfunction and abuse may well be linked in a “developmental pathway to delinquency” that leads to later behavioral problems (Greene et al., 1998). Studies have found that preventing delinquency requires accurate identification of the risk factors that increase the likelihood of delinquent behavior and those factors that promote positive youth development (Huizinga et al., 2000). In fact, Lipsey and Wilson (1998) found that treatment for delinquent behavior seems to be most effective when those receiving the treatment have appreciable risk of actually reoffending. According to Altschuler and Armstrong (2002), however, risk is frequently misunderstood in terms of development of policy and practice in corrections, and they argue that high risk is established by criminal history along with the presence of criminogenic needs. They further assert that misclassifying offenders by enrolling lesser-risk youths in intensive programs may be in part responsible for the poor performance of some reintegration programs.
Historical facts concur with the notion that most criminal gangs have taken shape in the mid of the 20th century. These gangs have relentlessly evolved based on the deprived economic conditions, prejudice and racism. In this paper we therefore compare a timeline of exhaustive historical findings that relates to the evolution of gangs in the 50s in comparison to modern gangsters. Britain Institute of Criminology (2003).In retrospect to the department of justice (DOJ), California has recorded an alarming number of gangs with approximately 300,000 members. For this findings it is noted that 60 percent of this gangs are Hispanic, 30 percent African-American, 6 percent Asian and 4 percent are pure whites. Based on these findings it was deduced that most gangsters were from 14-24 years of age. However, under rare circumstances gangs as younger as 8 and as old 30 have been inaugurated. Conventional aggregates have indicated that the United States is a house hold for more than 25,000 gangs of all composed of youths and over 800,000 members. Britain Institute of Criminology (2003).
Contemporary gangsters emerge from a wider scope of the socio-economic or ethnic backgrounds. With the technological advances in our modern society, gangs have also undergone a highly mutilated metamorphosis. They have also adopted modern weapons of murder unlike the gangsters of the 50s. Penitentiary gang-life has also influenced modern street gang pursuits. Modern day gangsters have dangerously inaugurated both the minor and women alike while perfecting the art of sadistic crimes.
Siegel, Welsh, Senna (1994). Female gangsters now comprise of four to ten percent of gang membership population and are the wicked criminal who could easily pull trigger in disposition. Research findings indicate that by the turn over into the new millennium, female gangs have been reported as integral associates that have been highly involved in drug operations as mules that connive and consign weapons and drugs for male accomplices
Modes of Communication:
Modern gangsters integrate and communicate through the use of hand signs. This includes a swift movement of hands. These gangs are able to magic charm letters and numbers using their hands as a way to challenge rival gangs. Street gangs on the other hand relate with prison gangs through emails, personal visits and phone calls. Essentially the gangsters of our contemporary times have utilised the magnanimity of the internet infrastructure as their mode of communication;
Modern day gangsters have adopted tattoos as a form of expression and intimidation. These tattoos have been used to bring an exposition into the affiliate’s life story, and at what stage of life a gangster was in before the tattoo was implanted upon them. Street gang affiliates essentially share tattoos of the color ink, while behind the bar the ink is made from pencil and lead carbon paper, burnt ash and ink pens.
Towards the dawn of 21st century, gang affiliates have dramatically changed their dress code. Currently these gangsters don’t limit themselves to a scrupulous style of clothing. They put on denim and khaki pants too, button shirts-shirts and sweaters. All types of tennis shoes are worn substitute to the leather shoe of the 60s; bandanas have been carried over into the modern world gang who wears them on the back pants pockets, with a piece sticking out so that others can notice the color and the affiliate of particular gang. Brown, B.S. & Courtless, T.F. (2004) .What have also not transformed is the heavily ironed clothes, creased pants, oversized shirts, spotless shoes, clean haircuts and the pride they take in their look. Sport jerseys have been so popular among the members as well. Siegel, Welsh, Senna (1994).Female indulgence in crime dates back as in the 1800s, women were initially viewed as inferior to males, and this has seen their major part in gang crimes roll out unnoticed. Conventionally female were not defined as affiliates of the gang but as maybe someone’s girl friend, sister or relative. Females associated with gang have often been often been holding weapons and drugs for their male gangsters accomplices.
Many of this collectivism is still being employed to females, besides there have been some variations,. Female gang members emulate the behaviors of male gang members as a form of integrating into the gang. Females do dress-up in gang associated clothing, participate in criminal activities and coordinate some of the crimes. Siegel, Welsh, Senna (1994).In recent times, females have tried to form their own gangs, taking characteristics from male dominant gangs and employing to their own. Females apply characteristics such as jump-ins, graffiti, tattoos, weapons and violence, as a way for them to achieve a good reputation and recognition from male gang members. Virtually, women have been recruited into gangs after having sexual intercourse with several hardcore gangsters’ affiliates. However, most females that are sexed in these gangs are not accorded so much respect as those women that are jumped in. the law enforcers have however, overlooked the crime commitment by women though they get involved in the same criminal activities by men gangs. What should however, not be underestimated is the fact that just like male gangs women also do seek gang affiliations for security, love, money and fame just like its common with male gangs and as a result they are highly lethal just as men are. Brown, B.S. & Courtless, T.F. (2004).
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