gang AWARENESS & prevention
Gangs are more adaptable, organized, sophisticated, and opportunistic, exploiting new and advanced technology as a means to recruit, communicate discretely, target their rivals, and perpetuate their criminal activity.
There were approximately 1.4 million active street, prison, and O.G. gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United states in 2011. An increase from 1.0 million in the assessment prior to 2011, which was an increase from the assessment prior to that and the one prior to that. Gang membership has been on the rise since the numbers have been reported - some can be attributed to better law enforcement training and identification - some can be attributed to better documentation and political acceptance but a large portion of that increase is believed to be in a growth in membership.
A common public perception is that most youth are coerced into joining a gang. Quite to the contrary, most who join want to belong to a gang. Gangs are often at the center of appealing social action— parties, hanging out, music, drugs, and opportunities to socialize with members of the opposite sex. The gang may be appealing because it meets a person's social needs.
There are many reasons why we think that people join a gang but in survey after survey we find that young people reported the following reasons for joining a gang, in the order of descending importance (Esbensen, Deschenes, and Winfree, 1999):
- For Protection.
- For Fun.
- For Respect.
- For Money.
- Peer Pressure.
- Family Generational Influence.
We will be adding additional Gang Prevention Programs and Initiatives websites as we locate them on the internet. If you are aware of any that have an online website, please contact us so that we can add them to this page.