Social Problems Associated with Street Gangs Essay

1832 Words Dec 6th, 2010 8 Pages
Social Problems Associated with Street Gangs Gangs are becoming prevalent in today’s society and within our schools. More and more young people are turning to gangs in an attempt to escape their everyday lives and the future, which they perceive as dismal and bleak. They are initially attracted to the prestige and cash flow, which is glamorized by the street gang. Many gangs are actively involved in criminal misconduct, such as drug and gun trafficking, burglaries and homicides. However, street gangs are not just a criminal justice issue, but a social problem, which is triggered by poverty, peer pressure, boredom, despair and lacking a sense of belonging. A street gang can be defined as “an organized social system that is both …show more content…
“Of the violence that victims believed gang members committed between 1993 and 2003, a lone offender accounted for about 54% and more than one offender, 46%” (Weiss 2). It is estimated gang members are “sixty times more likely to die from homicide than the general population” (Maceo 1). This is partly due to the worsening socioeconomic conditions and the need to pull in money and compete for neighborhood areas to continue drawing in funds through criminal activity. Another way to escape a life of poverty within the gang community is to turn to selling drugs or trafficking illegal guns. “Agencies report an impact of illegal activity where 30% noted returning gang members released from prison contributed to the growth of drug trafficking, 19% reported that they greatly contributed to an increase in violence among long gangs and 12% reported that they greatly increased local gang access to weapons” (“Gang Related Crime” 1). Although escaping poverty is enticing to youth to join gangs, susceptibility to peer pressure is another way adolescents turn to gang membership. Many times young children and teenagers are recruited at school or in their neighborhood by their friends. They are trying to fit in and to be part of a group, especially if they have a friend who is involved. “Even at a young age, they need to feel that they belong to a crowd” (“Reasons Why Children Join Gangs” 2).

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