There is no actual definition as to what a youth gang is however, they are thought of as a self-formed association of peers with the characteristics of a gang name, recognizable symbols, identifiable leadership, geographic territory, regular meeting pattern, and collective actions to carry out illegal activity. This article was mostly talking about how and why youth gangs form, who joins, and how violent these gangs are.
The proportion of adolescents which join gangs varies by locality. Surveys found that 14%-30% of adolescents join gangs at some time in their life and are usually around 12 to 24 years old. The members of these gangs come in a variety of racial and ethnic compositions. There has been an increasing of youth gangs since 1980 and a number of cities reporting youth gang problems continues to rise.
The violence in these youth gangs increases with the number of gangs and members. Also, the availability of firearms contributes to an increase in violence. The youth gang homicides have increased since 1980 dramatically. This is mainly due to a series of escalating confrontations between or inside gangs as well as access to and use of firearms. The disagreements usually involve a gang member recruitment, impulsive and emotional defense of one’s identity as a gang member, turf protection and expansion, defending the honor of the gang, drug wars, and trivial events of a confrontational nature. The gangs will go back and forth egging each other until someone is killed creating a loop in which one killing justifies another. Female gang and crime involvement are also increasing. Although, it is not clear exactly how, but an idea is that its part of the overall growth in adolescent gang involvement. Studies show that gang members are responsible for a large amount of violent offenses. Rochester, Seattle, and Denver gang members self reported high percentages of all violent adolescent offenses in their areas. Juvenile gang members commit serious...