Gangs Issue Research Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: American History Type: Research Paper Paper: #17100941 Related Topics: Youth Gangs, Robbery, American Corrections, Crack Cocaine
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … Gangs

The Issue of Gangs

History of Gangs in the United States of America

Northeast Region (specifically New York City

Midwest Region (specifically Chicago)

West Region (specifically Los Angeles)

South Region First period

Current Status of Gangs in the United States of America

Types of Gangs in the United States of America

Factors Triggering Indulgence in Gangs

Impacts of Gang Activities on United States of America

Recommendations for Community Response

This paper will analyze the nature of gang membership within the United States of America by delving into the historical trends and current status of gang membership in the nation. Moreover, the paper will also discuss the factors that trigger the formation of gangs in the state. In addition, it will also put light on the types of gangs that exist in the U.S.A., and the impacts that these entities have on the nation. Furthermore, it will also propose recommendations for community response regarding this issue.

The Issues of Gangs

1. Introduction

The United States of America consists of a total of around 33,000 active violent motorcycle gangs, street gangs, and prison gangs. The total number of people or members associated with these gangs amounts to 1.4 million. A large number of these gangs indulge in highly organized and sophisticated activities, however, irrespective of their degree of sophistication all of these gangs use violence to control their neighborhoods. (Staff Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015; Staff Members of the National Gang Intelligence Center, 2012)

In addition to that, these gangs also use coercion and power to establish and boost their illegal money making operations, which may include drug and gun trafficking, robbery, fraud, prostitution rings, and extortion. As indicated by the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report, the active gangs in the United States of America are responsible for about 48% of violent crimes in most of the jurisdictions of the state, whereas, in some of the jurisdictions this percentage ranges up to 90%.(Staff Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015; Staff Members of the National Gang Intelligence Center, 2012)

This paper, therefore, aims at analyzing the current status, historical growth, and projected trends of gang membership in the United States of America. In addition to that, it will also put light on the current research on gang formation and the implications for society and community. Furthermore, the paper will identify and classify the types of gangs common in various geographical or societal communities and their effect on social, educational, and criminal justice systems, including social service and health providers, police, courts, and schools. Moreover, the paper will assess various approaches, programs, and policies for responding to gang formation and activities and would propose recommendations for community response.

2. History of Gangs in the United States of America

The formation of gangs did not follow a uniform pattern across the United States of America. The initial emergence of some of the serious gangs was witnessed by the East Coast in the era of 1820s, which was led by New York City. The Midwestern region of the United States of America, specifically Chicago and the Western regions, specifically Los Angeles, witnessed the development of gangs half century after the formation of the gangs on the East Coast.The south region of the United States of America, on the other hand, did not see development of gangs for almost another half century, as gangs began to develop in this region in the era of 1960s.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

The following section puts light on the history of gangs in the United States of America.

2.1. Northeast Region (specifically New York City)

The emergence of first gang like groups was witnessed in this region right after the end of American Revolution, in the year 1783, these group mainly consisted of White European immigrants, including English, Germans, and Irish. In the year 1820, however, serious ganging began in the city of New York, which was followed by the formulation of the first well organized gang in Rosanna Peers' greengrocery's backroom. (Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

In addition to that, the Chinese also began setting up their sophisticated tongs in this region during 1960s. This situation was further worsened by the arrival of Poles, Italians, Austrians,...

...

The era of 1900s also witnessed the initiation of black gangs and the proliferation of the criminal network into the regions of Manhattan, northern East Harlem and the Bronx and southeastern Brooklyn.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

2.2. Midwest Region (specifically Chicago)

The first street gang was developed in Chicago in the 1860s, this gang was formulated by white immigrants, and consisted of various ethnicities including Irish, German, and Lithuanian people. During the 1920s the gangs began to take root in the patronage networks that were run by strong authorities and politicians, one of the popular gangs in such network was the Al Capone gang. (Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

After the race riot of 1919 race riot, gangs were formulated by black males to counter attack the hostile white gang members who terrorized the African-American community. In addition to that, the Mexican gangs were also formulated in the era of 1950s. The worst African-American gang problem of Chicago exploded in the year 1960, which led towards elevated rates of crime and violence. (Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

2.3. West Region (specifically Los Angeles)

The era of 1890s witnessed the emergence of gangs, consisting of members with Mexican ancestry, in the western region of the United States of America, which was followed by the formation of first Mexican-American gangs in Los Angeles in the 1920s. The formulation and operations of Mexican-American gangs, on the other hand, were stipulated by two major events in Los Angeles, namely the Sleepy Lagoon murder and the zoot suit riots.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

In addition to that, there was also an acceleration in the rate of Mexican immigration in the beginning of 1950s. As a result, the African-American gangs, which were very well established in the low income housing projects, started to assume the position of street gangs in Los Angeles.Moreover the Vietnam War, the Chicano movement, and the War on Poverty, which occurred in the era of 1960s and 1970s, also promoted and steadied the formulation and operations of Mexican gangs in Los Angeles.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

The populated areas across California witnessed the formulation and proliferation of gang networks by 1970s. In addition to that, the roots and activities of gangs in the western region of the United States of America were further strengthened by the amalgamation of crack cocaine dealing and consumption and the gang culture in the African-American ghettos. (Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

2.4. South Region First period

The southern region of the United States of America did not witness the emergence of any kind of gang activity before 1970s. Even after the end of 1970s only Miami and San Antonio were said to have witnessed some minimal gang activity. There was, however, a sharp and evident increase in the gang activities in the southern region of the United States of America by 1950s. Consequently, by the end of 20th century the southern region also matched other regions of the United States of America in the rate and intensity of gang activities, with the emergence Houston as the new center for gang activities.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Howell & Griffiths, 2015)

3. Current Status of Gangs in the United States of America

In the present era, a number of violent and surreptitious crimes are committed by various gangs in the United State of America, which pose a significant threat to public safety in a number of jurisdictions within the nation, as these gangs continue to develop, and proliferate criminal networks across the nation. The common crimes that are committed by gangs include, robberies, threats, intimidations and assault. The number of such crimes is greater than the number of white collar crimes such as credit card fraud and identity theft. In addition to that, drug trafficking is also one of the most common crimes that are committed by gangs in the United States of America.(Howell, Egley, Tita & Griffiths, 2011; Staff Members of the National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations, 2014)

The gang composition in the United States of America consists of approximately 88% of street gang members, 2.5% outlaw motorcycle gang members, and 9.5% prison gang members. The most dangerous gangs in most of the jurisdictions are neighborhood-based gangs, prison gangs, on the other hand, pose the lowest amount of threat in most of the jurisdictions. Even though they contribute only 2.5% to the entire gang composition in the United States of America, the outlaw motorcycle gangs pose severe threats in 11% of the jurisdictions…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Howell, J., Egley, A., Tita, G., & Griffiths, E. (2011). U.S. Gang Problem Trends and Seriousness, 1996-2009, pp. 1-14. Tallahassee: Institute for Intergovernmental Research. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/content/documents/bulletin-6.pdf

Howell, J., & Griffiths, E. (2015). Gangs in America's Communities. [S.l.]: Sage Publications.

Madden, V. (2013). Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Young People involved in Gangs, pp. 3-26. London: Westminster Joint Health and Wellbeing Board. Retrieved from http://www.mac-uk.org/wped/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Mental-Health-and-Gangs-Report-2013.pdf

Pappas, C. (2001). U.S. Gangs: Their Changing History and Contemporary Solution, pp. 1-14. Washington, D.C: Youth Advocate Program International. Retrieved from http://yapi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/report-gangs.pdf
Staff Members of the Business Insider Incorporation. (2012). 13 American Gangs Keeping The FBI Up At Night. Business Insider. Retrieved 5 February 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/13-american-gangs-keeping-the-fbi-up-at-night-2012-8?op=1
Staff Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (2015). Gangs. FBI. Retrieved 4 February 2015, from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/gangs
Staff Members of the Joint Crime Information Center Intelligence & Counterterrorism Division, Texas Department of Public Safety, (2014). Texas Gang Threat Assessment, pp. 8-29. Texas: Joint Crime Information Center Intelligence & Counterterrorism Division, Texas Department of Public Safety. Retrieved from https://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/txGangThreatAssessment.pdf
Staff Members of the National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations, (2014). 2013 National Gang Report, pp. 3-52. Queen Creek: National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/national-gang-report-2013
Staff Members of the National Gang Intelligence Center, (2012). 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, pp. 9-46. Washington D.C: National Gang Intelligence Center. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment-emerging-trends


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