Crime, Violence And Drug Problems Essay

2274 Words Apr 30th, 2016 10 Pages
Gangs are a major concern in many cities and in the criminal justice field. Although some can be very dangerous, it is often a means of survival for many juveniles.
What is a gang?
The growth has been known to cause crime, violence and drug problems in places highly populated with gang members. With the changes in gangs over the years, it is difficult to establish what a gang really is. According to The Columbian, a gang is defined as “a group of three or more persons who claim a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the community,” (Columbian, 2007). Since the beginning of gang activity, there have been approximately four periods of major growth and are worth mentioning. The first period of gang growth was due to immigration, developments in the industrial industry, and social inequality. The members of these gangs were recent immigrants, mostly from Irish and Italian dissent. Members were also typically young and were “at the bottom of the social and economic ladders of society,” (Mosher Lecture Gangs). The crime being committed for these gangs were not substantial unless directed towards a rival gang.
In order to be placed in the database as a gang member in Los Angeles “you must meet two of the following ten criteria:
1. Admits to gang membership or association
2. Is observed to associate on a…

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