Free Research Paper About American Gangs
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The word gang is usually used to describe a menacing group of people that cause chaos to society’s rules and laws. However this defines a broad spectrum of different types of gangs which are individually characteristic setting them far apart from one another at times. A gang is defined as a group of people that are involved in illegal doings for the purposes of making money. This paper will go over many things that make up a gang, different typologies and highlight two gangs as well as describe their typology. The intent is to discover how gangs are adapting and changing while still maintaining traditional values.
Gangs are all different depending on the reason they are formed. They can be based on the race of a person, ethnicity or location. The ages of members vary. In some gangs members are only old, others have only youthful members and there are some gangs that have a wide range of both. Ages of gang members typically range from eight years old to 22. Gang members are easily identifiable by the colors that they wear to represent the gang they affiliate themselves with. Some gangs have even established tattoos or symbols that represent the gang and affiliation which are only to be worn by members. Most gang members are required to pass a test to become a member, which is referred to as initiation. During initiation some gangs require the new member to commit a crime and these crimes can range from robberies to murder (organization, 2015).
There are five different types of gangs that have been identified and defined. The first type is known as the traditional gang. This type of gang is one that has been around for a long time, normally 20 or more years. There are many members in this type of gang and there ages range from young to old. This type of gang is known for establishing their own territory which they will protect and fight for with rival gangs. The second type of gang is known as a neo traditional gang which is much like the traditional gang with one important exception. This type of gang has usually only been functioning for ten or less years. This gang type differs in other ways also like the fact that they are usually grouped into smaller groups known as sub-groups. These are defined by age unlike the traditional gang because they are made up of a smaller age range. One similarity between traditional and neo traditional gangs is that they both defend and stake claim over a territory. A gang typology that has only recently come into existence is known as the compressed gang. Just like it sounds this type of gang consists of a small amount of members (50 or less). It is not typical for the gang to be a part of other gangs in different areas and has a limited age range. The collective gang is the fourth type of gang that is able to be defined. This gang is similar to the compressed gang however it is much larger. These gangs allow a range of different ages to participate in there group but like the compressed group they do not belong to any other gangs or sub-groups. Last but not least is what is known as the specialty gang. This type of gang has a criminal focus and recruits offenders from only a select list of offenses. This is a smaller gang type consisting of less than 50 members and the age specifications are narrow as well. These types of gangs have only been around for a short period of time, less than ten years is what has been reported. The gang type does have a territory that they claim however unlike traditional and neo traditional gangs who establish territory on the streets, this gangs territory is in their homes or where they can pay attention to a crime they will engage in (Pitts, 2008).
For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on only two of these gang types the traditional and neo traditional gangs to determine the many different elements that define the typologies of these two gangs. There are many different traditional gangs however the Mexican mafia is a well-known and much feared organization comprised of many members. This traditional gang will represent many of the things that you will find in a traditional gang. The Piru blood gang is a neo traditional gang that is much like the traditional gangs however much newer and slightly different. This gang is able to demonstrate the similarities as well as differences between a traditional and neo traditional gang type. The important factor that is shared between both types of gangs is that gangs are becoming more organized which is a great risk for society and the law enforcement officials that are tasked with maintaining control over the growing number of members. Gang affiliation in a neighborhood can be a determining factor in the safety of the area as violence and criminal activity are historically shown to increase with the presence of a gang in a community. Gangs are growing adapting and changing to survive the structure that society has put in place to discipline this unacceptable involvement making them a real threat for the future harmony of people in the united states and elsewhere (Levinson, 2002).
Traditional gangs are also known as older gangs as they have been around a lot longer than the other gang types. These types of gangs have become extremely organized in there matters. They are known to have certain rules that each member is expected to follow concerning what is allowed and how the members are expected to act and compose themselves. When these rules are broken the punishments are already defined and will be carried out upon the member who breaks those (General, 2015). The Mexican mafia can be considered a traditional gang. It is one of the older existing gangs that still maintain a powerful presence in the United States. The Mexican mafia is very large and therefor there is not only one person who is in charge of this massive gang, there are many leaders. Across the United States the leaders of this gang are referred to as generals and these generals hand down instructions for the other members known as captains, generals and soldiers to carry out. It is a militant and organized structure. The gangs operate both in prisons and in the streets. In the prisons there are at least 150 active leaders who are able to pass orders along to over 2000 other people that will carry out crimes even as extreme as murder. In America it is thought that there are at least 30,000 members of this gang currently active in the country today. The Mexican mafia established what is referred to as a blood oath in the 1960s which stated that the only way a member could leave the Mexican mafia was by death (dialects, 2015). The Mexican mafia has a constitution that outlines there guidelines and rules. There are twelve rules that members are expected to follow:
The rule of blood in blood out which means that once a person is a member they may only leave the gang by death.
All of the members must be ready to put there life on the line or kill someone else when they are asked to.
All members must live to be more powerful than their weaknesses and be disciplined by the rules of the MEXICANEMI brotherhood.
If a person recruits a new member this person is responsible for anything the new member does. Therefor if the new member messes up the person who recruited the member must handle the problem and get rid of the recruit.
Members can never disappoint the MEXICANEMI.
If the Mexican mafia or members are disrespected it is the responsibility of all of the members to band together to eliminate the disrespectful person or group in its entirety.
All members must maintain the highest integrity.
Members are never allowed to share information about their business with others.
All members are given the right to speak up when they have a view, idea or criticism.
All members are given the right to plan, defend and teach the organization.
All members are allowed to wear the tattoo that symbolizes there membership.
The organization is a criminal enterprise and as so they will take part in crime that has a monetary benefit.
When a person breaks any of these rules the member is always punished. The punishment for any of the rules being broken is death because the rules state that the only punishment that the Mexican mafia approves is death. However it takes a 3 person vote for a member to be murdered for breaking the rules. When a member must be “taken out” the person that will handle it is either voluntary or the group will determine this by drawing names? There are four additional regulations for members of the mafia that also follow the same guidelines and punishments as the original 12 rules and these include that members cannot:
Be a snitch or informant
Disrespect any other members (Support, 2015)
A person is able to join the Mexican mafia
The Lincoln Park Gang
Neo traditional gangs are almost the same as traditional gangs except, they are newer and smaller than traditional gangs. However the gang is involved in many of the same and newer illicit activities and is as much of a threat as the traditional gangs if they are able to become established. The members of the gang are usually much younger than the members that are found in the traditional gang types (Klein & Maxson, 2000).The Lincoln Park gang is considered a gang as this gang falls into the definition of what means. This gang is fairly small and has only been around for less than 12 years. The gang is also known to establish and protect what they consider as their own territory (Klein, 2001). This gang is considered to be bloods and is made up of mostly black men. This specific gang has known territory that it has established in the San Diego area that it protects and claims against rival gangs. The gang sports specific colors to show their affiliation. These colors differ slightly from the traditional blood gang colors which are either red or burgundy. The Lincoln Park gang wears green to signify there affiliation accompanied by red. This gang is also known to have a subgroup known as the termite squad which is considered a murder clique. The termite squad has been associated with a large number of homicides of other rival gang’s members (Gangs, 2013). These gang members live by a 21 rule code however the most important of these rules is that members have what is referred to as blood love. This means that the members must want their affiliates to have the same life and wealth that they have. This gang although it is considered a gang lives by a similar code to the traditional Mexican mafia gang. That is if any member is to break the blood love rule or code then the punishment is blood out or death. All of the members are expected to have a copy of the 21 rules or codes that they are expected to live by and their superiors are expected to ensure that lower members follow all of the rules (AFIFAH, 2010). Some of the rules that a Lincoln Park piru is expected to follow under these guidelines include:
1. South Central California is referred to as the concrete jungle and is known as the motherland of all bloods.2. Throughout the nation red is the color for every blood.3. A celebrity from the neighborhood that is known for drug dealing and gang involvement is referred to as ghetto star.4. Putting work an Ericket.5. Courted in is how a person becomes an official blood.6. hitting up is defined as finding out where a person is from or what gang they are with.7. Banging or 711 means always putting in work physically and mentally. Wall bang is when a blood announces there affiliation in another gangs territory. Bloods are expected to always stand firm and represent their affiliation. 8. Bloods are expected to build their own reputation and not to fall on the affiliation of the gang as what makes them strong.9. Make your name known so that it is recognized and respected. 10. A blood makes them known as an O-G of the blood gang.11. All bloods must establish a territory that is their own.12. Full gear means wearing your color.
13. G-DOWN means gangsta down (or clothing).14. BROWNIES: are garden gloves that are worn when in the gang so that the bloods do not leave fingerprints.15. COLORS: All bloods wear their colors in the back right pocket of Khaki pants.16. SLIPPING: not being alert.17. MOUNTING UP: bloods working together in crime.
18. BALLER: means gangster
19. TURNING OUT: to cause violence and disruption.20. SLOB-GAME: is used against one titled ericket.21. Anyone who tries to make new rules or go against these rules will be blooded out in any way possible.
In the oath that is written for the bloods to follow there are additional guidelines as well as their statement that defines the concept of war. One of these guidelines states that people who are neutral are not to be attacked (Kasper, 2015). If any of the rules or codes is broken than the reaction is that the member or person to break them will be dealt with and in most cases this means death. The factors that result in a person becoming a member of a blood gang are considered similar to the factors that are a result of people joining other gangs. People become a member of the bloods gang for protection, affiliation status, family, pressure from others and money. When a person joins any part of a blood gang, it is a commitment they are making for the rest of their life. The only alternative or option of getting out is to shed blood because there motto is blood in blood out. The piru bloods as well as other blood gangs are a serious threat to police. These gangs are known for their history of seeking out and attacking police officers as well as others involved in the criminal justice system. This is one way that some of the bloods become members or part of the initiation that is required. One scenario which police were made aware of was a plan made by some of the gang members to put a call in about a domestic violence on Halloween. After an officer arrived at the scene the plan that the gang made was to attack the officer and have a lower ranking or new member shoot him/her. Another new way of targeting police officers that this gang has initiated is to kill the officer and take their duty belt. The place where these attacks are most prominent named these attacks red dessert alerts. The belt is supposed to be worth a lot of money if it can be obtained.
The bloods have become a quite organized entity as they have begun to pose many other threats to the criminal justice system and law enforcement. One way that they have done this is by developing a way to keep track of law enforcement through a low tech counter surveillance system that they developed. Using this system the gang members were able to monitor and intercept police regulated radio channels. They also were recording and tracking the unmarked police cars. Some bloods that are more educated in areas dealing with technology have even been able to track who visits websites they put up to determine if the person is affiliated with the criminal justice system. These things make the bloods gang a serious danger to people in the community especially those who have ties to the criminal justice system (Virginia, 2008).
Gangs are more complex than just a group of people that are getting into trouble in communities and breaking laws. They are formed in large and small groups however both prove to be a structured environment that can be more than difficult to maintain. Traditional and gangs both consist of members whose goal is to earn money through criminal enterprise. The small differences between these two types of gangs are there size and the age of the members however there involvement in criminal activities is very similar. The gangs are organized most often with leaders and members who fall into a ranking system which follow orders handed down by the higher ranking individuals. They are territorial meaning wherever they establish their territory there is sure to be criminal activity and violence especially if another gang tries to conduct business on their territory. The older gangs have established a system that is both respected and feared by other members as well as rivals. Newer or neo traditional gangs are no less of a threat however as there reign is just beginning and the new approaches to crimes involve being heavily involved with technologies making it even more difficult for law enforcement to stop them. The gangs will eventually gain more members and organization as well as affiliates making these newer gangs the traditional gangs of the future. The impact of this new growth can be more than devastating if the criminal enterprise is to grow big enough to threaten the hostile takeover of the law and order criminal justice system that is in place today. For that purpose it is important for law enforcement and communities to partner together and attempt to identify new threats are being established by the gangs before they grow into even more dangerous versions of traditional gangs.
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organization, d. (2015). 11 Facts About Gangs | DoSomething.org | America's largest organization for youth volunteering opportunities, with 2,700,000 members and counting. Dosomething.org. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-gangs
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Valdemar, R. (2010). Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang. Policemag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2010/04/mexican-mafia-the-most-dangerous-gang.aspx
Valdemar, R. (2015). The Mexican Mafia. Policemag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/channel/gangs/articles/2000/03/the-mexican-mafia.aspx
Virginia, c. (2008). Bloods street gang intelligence report (1st ed., pp. 1-27). virginia fusion center. Retrieved from AFIFAH, m. (2010). Blood Knowledge 2010 | Blood Piru Knowledge. Naaila-bloodpiruknowledge.blogspot.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://naaila-bloodpiruknowledge.blogspot.com/2010/05/blood-knowledge-2010.html dialects, s. (2015). spanishdialects-09c - Mexican Mafia Rules, Membership, and Structure. Spanishdialects-09c.wikispaces.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://spanishdialects-09c.wikispaces.com/Mexican+Mafia+Rules,+Membership,+and+Structure Gangs, U. (2013). Lincoln Park Bloods. UnitedGangs.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://unitedgangs.com/2013/09/06/lincoln-park-bloods/ General, F. (2015). Florida Gang Reduction - Types of Gangs. Floridagangreduction.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.floridagangreduction.com/flgangs.nsf/pages/GangTypes Kasper, E. (2015). The Bloods - Gang Language now includes Definition and history of the Bloods. Oocities.org. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.oocities.org/motorcity/downs/3548/gangs/blood.htm.tmp Klein, M. (2001). The eurogang paradox (p. 24). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pitts, J. (2008). Reluctant gangsters (p. 14). Cullompton, Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Support, T. (2015). "Descriptions. Brokenchains.us. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://brokenchains.us/tdcj/txprisongangs/descriptions Tabarrok, A. (2015). The Mexican Mafia. Marginalrevolution.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/10/the-mexican-mafia.html Valdemar, R. (2010). Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang. Policemag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2010/04/mexican-mafia-the-most-dangerous-gang.aspx Valdemar, R. (2010). Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang. Policemag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2010/04/mexican-mafia-the-most-dangerous-gang.aspx Valdemar, R. (2015). The Mexican Mafia. Policemag.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015, from http://www.policemag.com/channel/gangs/articles/2000/03/the-mexican-mafia.aspx
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