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These young gangs have long been present in the United States, but were previously only in large urban centers.This changed dramatically in the late 1980s (Miller, 1980), when youth gangs started to appear in smaller cities and suburban areas across the United States along with a rapid rise in their numbers and membership (Miller, 1980).The former police officer is also the chairman of the committee looking into deporting minors.
By 1982, a study by Miller showed that an estimate 2,300 youth gangs, with 100,000 members, were found in 300 cities.
Multiple reasons for this increase have been presented, including the economy and growth of an urban underclass, crack cocaine and other drug trade, gang migration, and gang subculture in the popular media (Miller, 1980).
Members receive a sense of identity and recognition from being in a gang.
It sets them apart from their peers and gives them a sense of power and success.
And these members can be from anywhere from the ages of 8 to 30.
With forty percent of gangs being juveniles, kids as young as eight years of age begin running errands for the leaders of the gang, this including girls of the gangs as well.Because girls also want to have that sense of power and group bond that the boys in the neighborhood share.Another effect of gangs is a sense of belonging to a family unit.According to guidelines, a gang is best defined as a group of youths that commit crimes and identifies with other members of the gang for this purpose.It discusses the conflict theory, that the juvenile becomes a delinquent individual due to conflicts and strain theory, that people are socialized to desire a cultural goal but denied the means to reach it and addresses how these theories can be applied to society.Therefore, youths that are economically and socially challenged do not have equal opportunities to financial success.Therefore, they may be more drawn into certain crimes than youths that have had better opportunities.In some gangs the drive-by is the rite of initiation for new members.Full acceptance into the gang might include the shooting of a rival gang member.The weapons in theses crimes have become more sophisticated in recent years, evolving from hands, feet and knives to automatic handguns, automatic rifles, sawed-off shotguns, and in some cases, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and hand grenades (Interview, 1985).The majority of gang-related homicides can be blamed on drive-by shootings, which is the type of crime committed most frequently by gangs.