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The presentation will summarize some of the well-known issues with youth gang members, address challenges to the community when gang members stay in the gang into adulthood, examine some of the ...

The presentation will summarize some of the well-known issues with youth gang members, address challenges to the community when gang members stay in the gang into adulthood, examine some of the challenges with advanced, adult gang members, and recommend some community responses.



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  • (Decker and Curry, 2003; Klein, 1995; Spergel, 1995)

All grown up   handouts All grown up handouts Presentation Transcript

  • All grown up but still banging: What issues can we expect if they dont "age out?” 1
  • Outline• Issues with juvenile gang members• Challenges when they stay as adults• Challenges with advanced, adult gangs• Recommended community responses 2
  • Defining gangs• Street gangs mentioned by Chaucer (1390) and Shakespeare (1602) – little known of the members• Generally accepted criteria for identifying groups as gangs: – Three or more members. – Members share group identity and other symbols. – Members view themselves as a gang, and they are recognized by others as a gang. – Permanence and organization. – Criminal activity. 3
  • Issues with youth gang members• 1.4 million of gang members in 2011 (NGIC)• Culture, lifestyle, survival• Crime and disrespect for authority encouraged• Violence often the solution 4
  • Gangs Form Because?• Individual needs – physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem• Individual responses – To pressure/Strain• Community needs – Security/Economy 5
  • Gangs are accepted• Not unlike traditional business organization – Fill a void – Serve community – Depended upon• Engage in legitimate business activity. – Startup funding from ill-gotten gains – Legitimate business to launder money – Gang businesses serve community 6
  • Adult v. Juvenile gang members 7
  •  Table 1: Identified Gang Members By Age Gang Range of Ages 1996 Average Age 1996 Range of Ages 2006 Average Age 2006Crips – LA Based 12-31 20.47 15-41 28.09Bloods – LA Based 14-26 19.69 17-38 26.03Folk – Chicago Based 12-33 18.51 15-38 24.59People – Chicago Based 17-24 19.58 19-46 27.63Hispanic – Independent 14-25 18.59 16-36 21.51Asian – Independent 15-27 20.59 16-37 25.34Local 15-30 21.46 17-43 32.47White Supremacist 17-22 19.50 20-47 31.15Totals 13-33 20.03 15-41 26.59Adapted from “Examining the Demographics of Street Gangs in Wichita, Kansas,” by Greg W. Etter and Warren G. Swymeler, 2008, Journal of Gang Research, 16(1), page 6. 8
  •  Table 2: Gang Member Demographics By Age Age % Albuquerque Las Vegas Phoenix (5,647 in 1999) (6,232 in 1998) (7,115 in 2000)17 and under  10.5 11.0 15.818 and over 88.6 79.0 84.2Unknown 0.9 Unavailable NoneAdapted from “Policing Gangs in America,” by Charles M. Katz and Vincent J. Webb, 2006, New York: Cambridge University Press, pages 98-114. 9
  •  Table 3: Summary of Findings By AgeLocation Adult % Juvenile %Arizona (Phoenix) (2000) 84.2 15.8Florida (2007) 56.5 38.4Nevada (Las Vegas) (1998) 79.0 11.0New Jersey (2004) 53.0 47.0New Mexico (Albuquerque) (1999) 88.6 10.5United States (2006) 63.5 36.5Average 70.8 26.53 10 Adapted from “2007 Statewide gang survey results,” by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; “Policing Gangs in America,” by Charles M. Katz and Vincent J. Webb, 
  • Many ex-gang members• quit without retribution (maturational reform)• leave for – Job – Child/family – Aging• motivated by experiencing violence• move away (geographic relocation) 11
  • Challenges when they stay• Increased # seasoned gang members• limited future legit opportunities• detrimental to adult transition 12
  • More challenges?• Older gang members more prevalent in cities with established gang presence.• Older age of gang members not due to delay in joining – maintaining allegiance after adulthood.• Older members often mentors 13
  • Challenges with advanced, adult gang members 14
  • Third Generation Street Gangs• Some gangs evolve/transition through three generations – Turf gangs – Market-oriented drug gangs – Mix of political and mercenary elements 15
  • Three factors determine evolutionary potential• Politicization• Internationalization• Sophistication 16
  • Evolutionary Potential 17
  • First Generation Gangs• Traditional street gangs - turf orientation• Lower end of extreme societal violence• Loose leadership• Focus on turf protection and gang loyalty• Criminal activity - opportunistic and local• Limited political scope and sophistication 18
  • Second Generation Gangs• Entrepreneurial and drug-centered• Protect markets - use violence to control competition• Broader market, sometimes overtly political• Broader spatial or geographic area• Sometimes multi-state and international 19
  • Third Generation Gangs• Evolved political aims• Operate or aspire to operate globally• Garner power, aid financial acquisition, mercenary-type activities• Most primarily mercenary• Some seek to further political and social objectives 20
  • How bad can it get? 21
  • How bad can it get?• If enough corruption exists – The organized crime group controls the government• You can have a failed state. – Responsibilities not same as control – Organized crime group focused on making money, not helping citizens 22
  • • New York –union officials and two former police officers arrested for decades of violent offences with criminal groups. 23
  • • Chicago (and other U.S. cities ) –Gangster Disciples followed Mafia involvement in community activities and politics. –When criminal groups engage in activities benefiting the community they are seen as less threatening. 24
  • • Europe, Middle East, and U.S. –Terrorist groups (IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah) promoting transformation from crimes against community to helping with community service and involvement in politics (like Gangster Disciples). 25
  • How does it get fixed? 26
  • How does it get fixed?• Frequently takes exposure in a crisis• Often requires external involvement• Some degree of coercion & force• Doesn’t happen instantly• May drive problem underground 27
  • Recommended responses• Get involved – whether asked to or not• Act the way you feel regarding gang activity in the community• If you are passionate about something, don’t hide it.• Find your voice and inspire others to do the same.• Find a way to make it all work.• Let us (TNGIA) know if we can help! 28
  • All grown up but still banging: What issues can we expect if they dont "age out?” 29