Gangs the Problems That Gangs Cause to Term Paper

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The problems that gangs cause to communities is enormous. And the resources that police departments and other law enforcements are required to use to monitor gangs is costly. Since gangs aren't going away any time soon the problems they create and the young lives they waste will be with society for the foreseeable future. This paper reviews the problem based on the government Web site,

Definition of Gangs and Gang Membership

The National Gang Center (NGC) explains that the most important aspect in terms of defining a gang lies within the realm of actually committing crimes. If the group is involved in criminality -- in rural or urban or suburban areas -- it doesn't matter what their leadership is in that particular group. It's also not important in the process of defining whether a group is truly a gang or not as to whether they display colors, have a specific name, hang out together, claim certain turf as their own; the authors say when a group of young people are committing crimes together they constitute a gang. In some cities, rural counties and suburban counties, when individuals claim membership, they are considered by law enforcement as gang members.

Gang-Problem Onset

It is logical to assume that the larger the city, the more likely they will have active gangs, and according to the National Youth Gang Survey Analysis (NYGSA) "…nearly half" of larger cities in the U.S. "have experienced ongoing gang problems" since prior to the 1990s. When asked to report when gangs began to appear in their area, nearly half of larger cities reported that they had gang problems prior to the 1990s.
Nearly 20% of smaller cities and nearly 30% of rural counties did not report gang data to the NYGSA; 17.8% of suburban counties reported being away of gangs prior Gangs didn't start appearing in rural counties until after the year 2000 (according to 31.4% of those counties); smaller cities (32.4%) also didn't report the existence of gangs in their communities until after 2000.

Gang-Problem Assessment Trend

Asked whether local youth gang problems were "getting better," "getting worse," or "staying about the same," there were fewer than 40% of law enforcement jurisdictions that have youth gangs that said they were "getting worse" in 2009, according to NYGSA. That is the lowest figure reported since 2003, and meantime about half of those jurisdictions that responded to the survey reported that gang problems in their communities were "staying about the same" in 2009, the last year the NYGSA has acquired this kind of data. So if half of the law enforcement agencies reporting said things were not getting worse, but instead saying the same, that implies that authorities are at least not losing ground in that regard.

Demographics -- The Ages of Gang Members

All the available data accumulated by NYGSA shows that there are a "greater percentage of adult (over 18) gang members" than there are those males under the age of 18. In fact about three of ever five gang members is over 18, albeit using the word "adult" is taking a pretty big leap in terms of cultural applications of the word "adult." That is behaving like an adult in this society means playing by the rules and following the laws that exist......

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