What is the definition of a gang? Three criteria
- No set definition
- Varies by agency
- Three criteria: Recognized by neighborhood as a gang, Recognize themselves as a gang, Be involved in criminal activity.
What is migration and proliferation?
- Migration: gangs are spreading
- Proliferation: Gangs are growing
Types of gang memberships
- Leader: constantly changes, function of the group, not the individual
- Regular “hardcore” members: older, attached to gang, violent, make most of key decisions for gang, in and out of report. (Respect.)
- Associates: strong attachment, but have interests outside the gang, participates less.
- Recruits: preteen yrs, emulate gang, waiting for opportunity to prove themselves to be accepted into the gang.
- At-risk members: live in gang neighborhood, shown interest in gangs.
- Auxiliary members: often girls, limited responsibilities.
Three R's of gang culture
Two types of organizational structure
- Horizontal: cut across different neighborhoods.
- Vary in age.
- More structured.
- Vertical: characterized by common territory
- Members are grouped according to age.
- Neighborhood gangs
- The ways gangs communicate.
- Claim territory
- Little art
- Threats are made
- Boasting about gang
- Letters, numbers, symbols.
- Not gang related
- No territory or threats
- Fame value: done in dangerous places.
- Fraternity: person is led to believe it’s the “in” thing to do.
- Obligation: Person is made to believe they are their community.
- Coercive: Psychological or physical. When they need members and need them to generate money or gang wars.
- Seduction: Create glorified myths of gangs, making it attractive to young people.
- Subterfuge: Gangs will ID certain people, misrepresent gang (“it’s a club”), convince them the gang will love them.
- They’ve a strong desire to accumulate money, ability to plan, ability to take risks.
- They’d be great business people if they weren’t devoting their entrepreneurial qualities to crime.
- Depends on sophistication.
- Jumped in: group beats on you/beaten down
- Turned in: Forced to have sex w/ multiple partners (girls)
- Walking away
- Jumped out: Beaten
- Trained out: Sex with multiple partners
As a community, what can we do to address the issue of gangs?
- Multifaceted approach
- Try to understand gang culture, why they join, the risk factors.
- Strengthen ties to community, parents/families, help with jobs.
- Social control theory.