Youth Gangs Across The Globe From L. A. to El Salvador Most gangs are created to form a sense of power and control. All types of problems are presented to the youths of today growing up in major cities. Before being so eager to jump to conclusions, we must learn to try to understand these problems, or we will never find a solution to them.
Gang members are out there trying to find a family that some never had. It may not seem like much to you – an abandoned house or a park – but it becomes a place to call their own. It’s easy to say “why don’t they ever leave the gang”, but many of those teenagers won’t leave until years to come, if ever. Gang life becomes the only thing they know. Everyone wants to feel needed, and in those blocks or areas, they feel needed. The gang life in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York are considered to be the most notorious.
Why? Because their history is so violent, and a steady ongoing process. The African-American and Hispanic gangs are the prime target of the media network and the more publicity they receive, the more they develop. I have been raised around gangs all my life. It’s not something I hated, but always understood what they were going through.
As a young child, you learn and try to be accepted by your peers because you just want to fit in. If you ” re raised with certain circumstances from life surrounding you, it becomes the only thing you know, unless taught otherwise. Without guidance from someone, they become a product of their environment. When you go to school and start hanging out with a certain group of kids from your neighborhood, they become dependent on you, and you on them. Why? Because eventually trust will be gained among them. If they ” re walking home from school and a group advances towards them, and out of the clear blue sky, one of the kids gets hit.
... a member of the socials named Bob. This proves that gang life can lead to death. After Johnny killed Bob, they went ... Gang Life In life, teenagers and adults join gangs for difficulties in their life. They feel that they need a group of people to ... or killed. People should never join any kind of gang in their lives for two reasons.They can get killed and it will ...
Do you run like hell, or would you help your friend out? The decision could affect their feelings toward each other, and possibly cause insecurity about them. They may become known as a coward, scary cat, and so on… For simply making the choice to look out for their self, and for a kid it can affect the way they feel about themselves. When someone shows them attention at that point, they ” re so easily influenced or drawn to other things. To feel needed again is what they find in gangs, but gangs are not to be blamed from parent’s lack of interest in their child. Joining that gang will give them admiration from the other kids that may have imposed a threat to their own self worthiness.
When they ” re walking down a street and people clear your walk way because of what you represent is intoxicating. The truth is most seek some kind of power, but they have already found it. Eventually their sense of mentality is “I can do what I want, where ever I want, and when I want. Forget everybody else! Police do what they got to do, and I’m here to do what I got to do.” They will soon have total disrespect for everyone who makes rules. When most gang member’s family’s income is low, it instills an attitude. “What have I got to lose – nothing”, because it isn’t like gang bankers are coming out of nice homes.
Most have to defend themselves the best way they know how, and just like anyone else they do the easiest thing possible. They end up living in the streets, so they will survive by the streets. They commit crimes, and break any law they feel necessary. The problem is some really don’t realize it all. How can they feel guilty when they might be able to feed their sisters and brothers, when their mother might be strung out on drugs? Should they feel guilty? I don’t believe it’s fair to say they should, when society sees it, but choose to act blind to what’s surrounding us. They can’t be the only ones blamed, because they simply do the same thing.
Introduction to Criminal Justice James Loughlin May 22nd, 2013 ABSTRACT Today being a police officer is more than just chasing a bad guy on a high speed chase or making an arrest. Many police officers deal with job stress which causes things to go wrong in their personal life. Many departments have come to terms with this and now offer help to those who need it. Officers and departments are also ...
Everybody wants to be special. If you can’t be special by being a model citizen to everyone, then I’ll be the one everyone fears is what some gangs think. Clothes can play a big part in an identity. A particular color, hair style, or symbol. Most of the time, it’s the cheapest thing that can be found anywhere. Bandannas, hats or shoestrings because it can be worn everyday.
An entire dress code may be inexpensive, but it may be pressed to look honorable among them. They eventually recognize each other from the styles they choose to wear, and will know who is an enemy or ally. They basically wear uniforms just like anyone else. The police dress a certain way and can be easily recognized without uniforms. To the gangs police are the biggest threat to their well being.
The fear of going to jail is in their mind, but it becomes a second home to them. The fear is the cops flying around provoking gangs with rumors about who did what to each other. Many police find this funny. If they ” re real cops they won’t want to see anyone hurt, gang bankers or not. – However, to eliminate problems for themselves, why not let them kill each other? Kill two birds with one stone is how some think, so after they cause rumors that causes problems – they have reasonable cause to arrest them. The police cause as much problems as the gangs do, because they ” re stirring them up.
Gang member’s mentality goes to the extreme when a threat is directed at them. No where seems safe until the problem can be eliminated one way, or the other. Like any situation, if you ” re not even involved, anything is subject to happen. Some of the youths today are involved, but they simply don’t know it. How? Because by living in a certain section of the city, automatically divides them. Whether they take part in gang activity or not, pay back from gang warfare can eventually involve innocent teens as well.
Drive by shooting seems to be the most known violence among gangs, and there are a million reasons why they occur. Wars may be over a specific piece of drug territory. Look at this situation so you can understand how they feel, right or wrong. If you buy a store and start selling food out of it, would you let some man with a cart stand in front of your store with his cart, and sell food as well? Well the gang members feel if they live in a certain neighborhood, why let somebody else from another neighborhood take what should be theirs. True enough selling drugs is wrong and effect people’s lives, but we first must understand what goes on before a solution can be found. The misconception about gangs is everyone’s fault – if a couple of guys break out into a fight because of certain issues, it’s automatically a gang fight to most.
Can you imagine living in such poverty that you have to steal money just to feed your family. This sort of thing happens everyday to people that just want to support their family because they don't have a job to get money. In some ways it shows love for their children but in other ways it shows irresponsibility. In the novel Parrot in the Oven is about a Chicano family that does not have a lot of ...
Then the real gang suffers the after effects by society, because of false assumptions. When we are quick to put the blame on gangs, the problems escalate due to ignorance. We have a many wars like Iraq and Iran, but the difference in gang wars are none. They both fight for what they believe in, and have the courage to die for that cause.
Gangs may fight for drug territory, Iraq for oil control. They both can affect lives of others, but America ignores its own problems. Let’s not call it anything less than it is – ignorance by neglecting its own. The media has more power than anyone because they can destroy, or create something.
As long as the media downgrade these gangs it will make them more aloof from others than they already are, but at the same time make the situation worse. Why? They make these kids to try and make themselves the most feared among their own, and naturally they grow stronger from the weak. They will get the respect and recognition no one else will give them. Kids who suffer from pain are always trying to reach out, but they simply don’t know how.
If the pain becomes worse, the tolerance for pain becomes higher. From this stage several things can happen – insecurity about themselves, suicidal, but most times extremely violent. Everyone has the potential to be a killer, and if the right button is pushed, you might kill because everyone has an edge. That’s a dangerous thing, trying to push some one over the edge, and a lot of kids in gangs can easily be pushed. A kid without anyone to care for them, have nothing to lose. Therefore when attention is showed, it gives them that sense of being needed and loved.
If the media doesn’t let these kids know about organizations that care, they create the disturbance among them needed for good ratings. Something bad always attracts the attention of others, but good things won’t, because it’s not them. The O. J.
The Full Monty The Story is laid in Sheffield, 25 years after the big successful industrial time. The biggest problem today in Sheffield is the unemployment. The leading actors are: Gaz and his son Neven. Gaz needs money, to get the custody back from his wife to live together with Neven. David is the best friend of Gaz and is a little bit bulbous. Most of the time they are spending together. ...
Simpson case is a prime example. The media needs to show the gangs that they care, by helping them with society, because they ” re the ones who exploit them most. If the causes can’t be found that makes kids want to join gangs, the situation will continue. With the illegal substances steady being pumped into those communities, organized crime will continue. People who never lived in the ghetto will always have trouble understanding the gang scene, without putting yourself in their position we will always have separate worlds in the same country.
Being a friend to someone in gangs is the first step, the second step – is more groups help with attempts to close the barrier in between. Don’t hate, but by helping them change we must first look in the mirror at what we represent. My hope is not to see the elimination of gangs, but the elimination of gang violence. If more money and time can be put into poor communities, the anger can be directed into something positive. The answer is not to come down harder on gangs, because it will make them tougher. Learn to build a truce, and friendship has a lot more influence than a threat.
Just a little effort can save the kids lives, and help them see a future for themselves. Understanding can begin a friendship without being convicted for the past, so we must give a little to receive a little. On the surface, one may think that kids gone astray need to be rescued, not defined. Nonetheless, there are subtle differences between topologies: between being gang-involved and committing gang delinquency, between non-gang and gang delinquency, and between gang graffiti vandalism and tagger insignias. When these fine distinctions are overlooked, techniques aimed at lowering gang delinquency in and of themselves do not prove fruitful in lowering over-all crime rates (Decker & Van Winkle 1994: 169).
Even Frederic Thrasher’s 1936 premiere study of gangs was criticized for lacking a ‘core definition.’ As a result, a host of youth group activities as diverse as fraternities to street corner gangs were analyzed in that now classic research work.
Within the past two decades, beginning in the early 1980's a growing concern has been focused on what can be considered a social epidemic among the youth of our nation. This social distress stems directly from the rising number and over all abundance of youth gangs throughout the country. Gang mentality and social deviance of this form has been noticed and documented in this country for decades ...
Today, astute journalists, prosecutors, legislators, and scholars generally evade definitions, yet there is a tendency to be completely unfettered about using the words ‘gang member’ and even applying them to individuals. In the prominent sociologist Malcolm W. Klein’s definition of gang’s perceived impressions were allowed, so that public surmising often determined a gang’s traits (1995).
However, public perception, as it turns out, is more often than not unreliable, and although in the current research same-age-peers seemed to know exactly who was and who was not gang-affiliated.
At any rate, definitions run the risk of initiating a wave of anti-gang hysteria and the ensuing array of ineffective and costly anti-gang activities: namely, curfews and sweeps — the unfortunate, but prevailing strategies currently used in many parts of the country. Without some kind of working definition, another commonly occurring predicament soon surfaces. Generalizations are applied to white supremacy groups, bikers, Asian gangs, African American and Latino gangs alike when in reality there are clearly discern able differences among these groups (Bureau of Justice. Assistance-Program 2, 14, 30- l 991).
Among social scientists in the academic world, definitions are most often determined in terms of variables many of which are derived from social learning theory (Akers l 985) (l 992).
Other studies use personal-biographical characteristics. And still others depend on observations and reports of various kinds like those used in the current research (Moore 1987) (Vigil 1988).
Like the city of San Diego’s definition, most descriptions depict gangs as groups that have identifiable leadership, a geographic, economic or criminal turf, regular and continuous fellowship, engaging in criminal activity. San Diego’s definition may be a bit too broad in that it does not require ethnic or social group membership and could, therefore, be applied to any criminal organization. Police departments across the country have similar definitions. Some add that the individual to be defined as a ‘gang’ member admits gang membership, has tattoos, wears gang clothing and paraphernalia associated with a specific gang, has a police record and engages in criminal activity.
Evidence is the key element in determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of crimes against society in a criminal court of law. Evidence can come in the form of weapons, documents, pictures, tape recordings and DNA. According to the American Heritage College dictionary, evidence is the documentary or oral statements and the material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law (476). ...
Thus, if a youth is arrested while in the company of a known gang member, the errant youngster is considered a gang member as well — and on record! Ironically, the truly anti-social criminal can altogether escape being labeled a gang member by working alone like the ‘independent operator’ described above. (Wake Forest Law Review).
Additionally, strict adherence to a broad definition obviously creates a gang, at least reportedly (and customarily creates with it the accompanying public panic) where perhaps no gang exists at all! Some parts of the country call gangs ethnic, organized, and engaged in criminal activity — Kansas City Police Dept for example. Kansas City’s criteria also includes age range 13 to 24, and comments that the gang member is usually from a dysfunctional family (i.
e. single parent or abusing parent).
And herein lies a topic for yet another investigation in and of itself: single parent homes are not always dysfunctional. Many two parent homes are! The loopholes in the various definitions are unwieldy. The California Youth Gang Task Force drafted a definition of a youth gangs to serve as the conceptual focus of its 1988 publication entitled ‘Guide for the Investigation and Prosecution of Youth Gang Violence in California.’ It established procedure for investigations of youth gang-related crimes — i.
e. how to set up gang files, etc. — and to that end criteria are listed: (l) subject admits being a member of a gang. (2) Subject has tattoos, clothing, and gang paraphernalia (3) Subject has close association with known gang members. Many non-gang affiliated subjects admit having ‘close associations’ with gang members, and in most cases non-gang affiliated youths have boyhood pals, cousins, uncles, and even bro there who are in gangs. Although the former distance themselves from the gangs, many non-gang affiliated youths are compelled to associate, at least to some extent, with gang members in order to keep the peace.
Often they not only live on the same street, but in the same buildings! The rule of this jungle is to avoid trouble by saying ‘hello” and looking away quickly. To completely ignore someone can be misconstrued. Another reason to seek out a formal definition for the word ‘gang,’ which does have some impact on striking a blow against their terrorizing the streets, concerns the accessibility of services available for marginally involved youths who might be salvaged (Meda et al. 1994) (Spergel 1990).
A very restrictive definition limits the numbers and subsequent funds available to a community. Thus, police agency statistics are sometimes a bit exaggerated in order to maximize the benefit to the community. Defining who is and who is not a gang member is further complicated in many cases by suspects who lie to police. Certainly, a good many wannabe’s identify themselves as gang members for the prestige they gain among peers. Clearly, other political considerations and complications taint available data. However, because no funds are being solicited in the current study — either to begin or sustain programs of any kind — this investigation; along with its definition of Latino gang member’s attempts to remain uncluttered by the usual political considerations.
Instead, the gang-affiliated are classified here according to their own testimony and seconded by that of their contemporaries as well as by that of non-gang affiliated peers from the same neighborhood. To a lesser extent this study also addresses some of the same characteristics delineated by other research scientists in other studies. After all, gang members do indeed have a number of qualities in common. For example, Latino gang members are unquestionably groups from the same neighborhood as defined in other data; however, in a good many Latino barrios there are also ex-offenders from the same penal facility, but not necessarily the same neighborhood who are ‘adjunct members,’ for lack of a better term.
These were all males in the current sample and were consistently referred to as ‘o. k. guys,’ ‘a good va to,’ ‘fir me,’ ‘mi carnal,’ etc. These individuals are free to come in and out of the turf at will. They ‘hang-out’ with the gang and are perceived as members although they may reside clear across town or even in another part of the state. The literature gives no mention of this type of member who may be ‘hard core’ and participating fully with the gang members when he is in their turf.
Latino gangs, like other gangs, clearly tend to develop along ethnic and racial lines. While some have a white member, or a black member or two, the gang members are typically one ethnic group — Hispanic, that nebulous term that often includes indigenous Chicano’s, Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Cubans, South Americans, and anyone else from a Spanish-speaking country. Therefore, ‘Latinos’ would probably be more appropriate, although like any other label, it also summons a number of questions. Nevertheless, it needs to be understood that the term ‘Hispanic’ is merely a political designation to refer to people of Latino descent as a distinct populace. Of course, they are not one group capable of fitting under an umbrella term like ‘Hispanic,’ because they represent a number of not only culturally different, but highly discordant groups as well. Latino gangs are also primarily male as described in past research.
The current investigation concurs. However, a section on female street gang members follows discussing female gangs as separate entities from the male street gangs. These girl gang members can also be defined by the way they display their affiliation; that is, through distinct styles of dress, gang colors, signs, & prescribed patterns of behavior.
There is also strong loyalty to territory. Girl-gangs are described in a number of other studies as well (Gau stad, 1991).
Asian Street Gangs Asian crime is difficult to investigate, even harder to prosecute because of the reluctance of the victims to approach the police. The vast majority of the people the gangs target is Asian, and because of long standing mistrust and suspicion directed against the police and the government – attitudes that took shape overseas in the face of brutal political oppression – it is often hard to gauge the extent of the local problem. Immigrant Belizean’s, Hmong, ethnic Chinese, and Vietnamese have organized street gangs that in some ways constitute a greater danger to the public safety than Larry Hoover’s army of drug runners who peddle dime bags in the projects. The Belizians, it was pointed out by Detective John Se beck of the Chicago Police Department at a recent gang crimes seminar sponsored by the National Gang Crime Research Center at Chicago State University, shoot first and ask questions later.
The Chinese gangs in Chicago have evolved out of two old and historic community organizations – the Hip Sing are active in the Uptown community along the lakefront. The On Leong, a Tong sharing the same name as the On Leong Merchant’s Association, are a South Side group. The first American-based “Tong” – the literal translation means “meeting hall,” is an extension of the merchant associations that were first organized in 1847 in San Francisco as a means of preserving cultural identity and providing a social outlet. Not every member of a Tong is criminally inclined. Not every Tong however, has peaked the interest of federal and local law enforcement as the On Leong right here in Chicago. In the early 1990 s, the On Leong Merchant’s Association was the focus of a federal racketeering trial that exposed the links between the Chicago outfit and a multi-million-dollar gambling ring headquartered along 22 nd Street.
On Leong traces its Chicago roots to the 19 th century where it existed as a social and benevolent organization to indoctrinate Chinese immigrants to the American way of life. During the 1991 federal racketeering trial of 11 Chinese businessmen accused of running a gambling game from inside the On Leong “casino”- a continuing enterprise that netted $2 million dollars between 1974 and a police raid in April 1986 – prosecutors secured conviction on tax conspiracy charges against Wilson Moy, often described as the unofficial “mayor” of the Chinatown community. Former mob attorney and federal informant Robert Cooley testified during the trial that Moy and another man gave him $100, 000 to pass on to former First Ward Alderman Fred Roti and Pat Marcy, the mobbed-up secretary of the First Ward Democratic Organization in order to “influence” the outcome of the 1981 William Chin murder case in the Cook County Circuit Court. The jury failed to reach a verdict on this specific charge in the five-month-long racketeering trial. Hip Sing has a storefront office in Uptown.
On Leong is still a viable force in the South Side Chinatown neighborhood. There are those who are of the opinion that the organizations are still not divorced from their criminal past, and that little has changed. The rigged gambling games continue, in a secure location not far from the former On Leong building on Wentworth Avenue where the arrests were originally made. Since the doors were padlocked by the “G” and the records seized, the On Leong headquarters has been converted into the Pui Tak Center, a religious and cultural meeting place.
Meanwhile, restaurant owners, local merchants, and small time bookies running popular Chinese gambling games like “Fan Tan,” allegedly continue to pay street taxes to the 26 th Street Chinatown “crew,” which oversees the outfit’s interests in this part of town. The presence of the Hip Sing and On Leong in Chicago is traced to the early years of this century when the original Chinatown located between Polk Street and Congress, re-located to 22 nd Street and Wentworth Avenue – following the migration of the Levee vice merchants, gambling bosses, tricksters, and dope fiends from downtown into the South Side badlands. The affiliated gangs of the Tong are well organized and entrenched in their respective communities, according to Jim Brongiel, an Asian organized crime specialist for the Office of International Criminal Justice, a University of Illinois think tank that trains Chicago Police sergeants and lieutenants through an executive development program, as well as publishing “Criminal Justice International.”We have seen large amounts of money being laundered through various Chicago banks from businesses that use the word “international” in their dealings,” Brongiel explains. “Asian gangs, with close links to sophisticated criminal organizations like the 14 K Triad, the largest triad on the Chinese mainland, are involved in money laundering, illegal gambling, counterfeiting, the theft of computer software, and the smuggling of illegal aliens into this country.” The Triads are secret criminal societies that were organized in the 17 th Century to oppose the rule of Chinese Dynasty. They continued to flourish in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, and Taiwan through the modern era.
Hong Kong triads have turned up in Great Britain and Australia long before the British relinquished control of their colony to China. The traffickers who deal in human cargo are known as “snake heads.” For a $15, 000 commission, the snake head who is based in China, will smuggle an illegal alien into the U. S. with the vague promise of employment and a stable life awaiting them at the end of the journey; a journey fraught with all kinds of hardship and peril.
Many of these undocumented aliens arrive in Chicago every week. Some of them are criminals who import ancient ethnic hostilities that can erupt into gang warfare and murder at a moment’s notice. There already exists a bitter ethnic rivalry on the North Side of the city between the Vietnamese and the Filipinos. The Vietnamese, recent arrivals to American shores, tend to work for the better organized, more sophisticated Chinese gangs like the North Side Hip Sings and the Hung Mun Tong, serving as their “muscle.” The Hung Mung (“Red Door) “) and its satellite gang, the Hung Ching composed of underage children, are involved in home invasions and drug trafficking.
“There is some recent evidence that the North Side Hip Sing and Hung Mun gangs are merging and forming alliances for common purpose,” Brongiel reports. Home invasion robberies have escalated across the country since the fall of Viet Nam in 1975, and the exodus of thousands of Vietnamese refugees into the U. S. The victims of these relentless and often brutal gangs are most often other Vietnamese, Laotian, or Chinese citizens because they are the easiest prey. Home invasions of this type have been reported in Highland Park, Naperville, Westmont, Glen Ellyn, and Glendale Heights, dispelling the illusion of the supposedly “crime-free” suburbs.
The Wolf Boys, Black Widows, and Local Boys are three Vietnamese gangs currently active in the Chicago land area. The Vietnamese “BTK” is another street gang with a national presence. “The Vietnamese gangs are pre-disposed to violence,” Jim Brongiel reports. “Very often they carry out the “heavy work” for the Chinese groups. They can be easily identified by the presence of three dots on the hand signifying their membership in the gang.” Burn marks and skin tattoos commonly signify membership in Asian street gangs. The West Coast remains the stronghold of Asian organized crime activity, particularly within the communities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove, in Orange County, California.
The importation of drugs from the “Golden Triangle” region of Thailand, Burma, and Laos is a prime source of revenue as the gangs take root in their respective communities. “Ice,” the crystalline, smoke able form of methamphetamine, has turned up on the West Coast in recent years. Ice originated in Japan reportedly around 1919, but is being produced in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines for distribution in the U. S. Thus far, the drug is mostly confined to West Coast communities, but the situation is likely to change as the Asian street gangs and tong groups shift their base of operation to the hinterland. Tong gangs have fanned out across the U.
S. and are particularly active in Maryland, Los Angeles, and New York City. Houston’s Asian community was hit particularly hard in 1996 with numerous drive-by shootings and continuous gang warfare. During the 1970 s and 1980 s, the Wah Ching, a Chinese street gang organized in 1966, came to control most of the criminal vices in the Chinatowns of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Their extortion and protection rackets are reminiscent of decades-old Mafia activity. The power of the Wah Ching on the West Coast was never seriously threatened until 1989 when a new criminal organization, the Wo Hop To triad of Hong Kong began moving into the San Francisco Bay Area. In recent years, there has been a consolidation of power between these two groups and the evolution of an Asian “super gang.” Having realized the benefits of applying structure and organization to their criminal endeavors, some West Coast Vietnamese and Chinese “gangsters” are being recruited into the Crips and Bloods gangs. Their presence has been detected in the greater Midwest, notably in Minneapolis-St. Paul and central Wisconsin where Hmong youth have formed a dozen Crip gangs, and at least five “Blood” gangs. The Hmong are an ethnic Chinese people who migrated from their native land in the 18 th century to the mountainous regions of Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam.
They poured into the West Coast in large numbers following the end of the Vietnam War and have filtered into the American heartland ever since that time. The Hmong people – a sizeable community resides in the Argyle Street neighborhood of Uptown – were often the victims of extortions and shakedowns by Asian gangs. The West Coast is still the gateway to America’s riches for the Asian peoples of the world. Chicago remains the historic hub of Mid-America; a way station to the world and a destination point not only for the decent, law abiding immigrants from around the world escaping the yoke of poverty and political repression, but for the criminally inclined as well.