The effects of gangs in the lower-middle-higher class communities is an important issue to be aware of, for the fact that it causes a lot of problems in society. Currently, gangs have been increasing within communities causing negative effects on neighborhoods and their youth. A gang can be defined as a group of three or more individuals who associate together and have the same clothing or color styles and commit crimes from all different of levels. People are upset with gang members and the outpour they bring, which includes harassing the community, encouraging their local youth to join, and publicly displaying inappropriate behavior. It is not only important to be able to recognize the level of a community and the gang problems within them, but also to see what actions can be taken to prevent more gang problems before they become greater in society.
When it comes to gangs it has been noted that in communities with a reduced population of no more than 50,000, gangs tend to be much smaller with only a hand full of members. Typically, they form as fast as they dissolve because it is hard to start up a gang and recruit members that will stay committed for a long period. In these areas the conflict for gang leaders is to keep members devoted before members realize what a waste of time the gang life is.
In a small populated zone there can be up to three different gangs at max with roughly fifty members or less in each. In larger populations between 50,000 and 100,000 typically report between 4“15 gangs and about 50“200 members. (2). As the population of towns, rural counties, and cities increases, the issue of gangs seems to also be increasing for the communities and society at large. Larger cities have a much longer, more extensive history of gang problems”nearly half have experienced ongoing gang problems since before the 1990s.(5) Whether a community be small, average, or enormous in size, there is always a purpose for joining a gang or associating with them. Quite often, the data shows that there are reasons an individual might be interested in joining a gang which include protection, power, money, or peer pressure.
Communities who are considered to be at a lower economic class level, typically see a higher rate of gang activity. A reason behind this is that these areas have been left unsupervised without leadership, or adherence from any local law or community leaders. This has left the people with low income communities to fend for themselves and makes it more challenging to protect themselves and their children. These communities can be seen as ?broken windows theory’ which happens in many communities who are considered to be lower economic classes.
This allows for gangs to encourage youth to join their ranks and see what benefits might come from being in a gang. These benefits often include protection from other rival gangs who come to their neighborhood and harass them, or in some cases threaten to kill them. Of these reasons, youth most commonly join gangs for the safety they believe the gang provides. (3) In addition, protection can be given to those individuals or families who may need it.
Money and power can both be obtained by joining a gang in these lower income communities, which is often another reason children decide to join. When seeing their older family members or siblings partaking in these kinds of behaviors, it inspires the youth in these communities to follow in their footsteps making it quite likely that one day they will be actively involved in delinquency, drug use, and violence in comparison to youth in higher income level community. Exposure to violence during youth has long-term life consequences.(4) In these communities being surrounded by gangs 24/7 encourages children and families to join the lifestyle rather than prevent this lifestyle.
Middle economic class levels typically are surrounded by some gangs but aren’t seen around the community as much. In these areas fewer crimes are committed and less pressure is placed on joining gangs from peers. Occasionally people might see a gang walking around or graffiti on a wall, but you don’t see gangs strolling around on every single block. Influences in these communities are much more serious and positive because communities in this general state actually work to strengthen families and schools. The work to improve community supervision, and to train teachers and parents to manage disruptive youth.
These factors play a huge role in protecting the community and the kids who live around the neighborhood. Without a doubt there are some adolescents in this general area that may be involved in gang activities but as mentioned above, it is quite minimal in these communities because of the support of local community leaders and families.
In higher economic class levels, they depict picture perfect communities where there are no gangs in sight. Typically, a community of this sort is protected by officers who patrol around the neighborhood and in addition, many of these communities are gated to prevent further issues. There may be graffiti around, but it does not imply that there is a gang problem in these communities; this can just be a person who comes there to tag. If any issues would arise it would most likely be because of drugs being sold or used in these communities. In these communities, gangs aren’t really relevant, but drugs dealers may be. Those drug dealers who are associated with gangs are not there to recruit youth, they are there to merely make a profit. It is clear that as economic class levels rise, the crimes decrease because the communities work to improve its protection and enforce its laws.
The best possible way to ensure that communities are not being infected by gangs or corrupting the youth, is by making sure they have Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments Exposer to gangs during youth has long-term life consequences. Whether seeing gang members commit crimes, grafting walls, seeing drugs sold etc., all these exposures damage society and its youth. The best way to prevent this is to apply characteristics like strengthening families, increasing adult supervision of students after school, teaching students that gangs can be dangerous, improving community-level supervision of youth etc.
It is prudent to locate gang prevention programs in schools because student risk levels for multiple problem behaviors can be easily identified (1). These are just a few things that could make a difference in any community even if there are no gang problems at the moment. There is always help available, community members just need to look for it and ask for aid in improving the gang problems in their communities.
In short, it can be said that no matter what community a person lives in, there are many issues that can disturb that community. There is definitely a considerable amount of influences that come from gangs, but the effects can always be changed or prevented. The best way to eliminate or reduce gang activity in a community is to establish a tight cooperation between law enforcement and the community. Proper actions need to be taken to protect the community, especially the youth who are the future. In the end it is really all just about cooperating with and working with others to improve the community and hoping for the best.