Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Criminal Justice, United States, Crime, America, Street, Gang, Subculture, Prison

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/11

United States has always been the first country in world in regard to the quantity of criminal gangs. Primarily because organized crime in this country has a deep history. Remember, though, the infamous "Gangs of New York." But today's groups are not inferior to them in brutality unscrupulousness, and with respect to scope of their activities even surpass their predecessors.
According to the statistics, today the share of street gangs accounts for more than half of all violent crimes, and in some states and big cities this indicator reaches 90%. Basically crime committed by criminal gangs captures the most densely populated regions of the United States. This is California, the Great Lakes region, and almost the entire north-east of the country. According to the FBI the total number of offenders, combined in different gangs, in 2014 reached almost one and a half million of people. A significant increase in the number of organized criminals gangs has led to the expansion of the field of criminal activity from racketeering, control over prostitution, drug trafficking and robbery, they began to develop such "industry" as human trafficking, major financial fraud, computer fraud and counterfeiting.(Barker 14)
Conventionally, according to the classification of FBI, gangs are divided into street gangs and prison gangs, even though, especially significant difference between them does not simply exist. Basically, the criminals who are involved in gangs feel themselves perfectly regardless of which side of the prison fence they are located. There is also another division of the criminal gangs in United States of America, this division is plenty of motorcycle gangs. This are mobile biker gangs such as «Hell's Angels,» «Bandidos» or «Heathen’s,» but lately they are almost completely supplanted by the Latin American Mafia and today no longer play significant role in the criminal underworld of the United States. In contrast, as the time from changing their "Latino." Among latino gangs, the greatest popularity and influence have «18thStreetGang» that are also called «M-16,» and «Latinkings.» (Barker 23)
Today «18thStreetGang» has about 75,000 active members and develops their activity in 130 American cities in the territory of 41 states. In the ranks of the "Latinking" there are about 50 thousand of soldiers and this criminal gang has control over 169 cities in the 31 states. However, the gang that is considered to be the largest and the most bloody gang in the United States was founded by immigrants from El Salvador, and is named «MaraSalvatrucha», or MS-13. According to the FBI, this gang include 82,000 of criminals and it operates not only in the US but also in some countries of Latin America.(Barker 26)
Besides the above mentioned there are in the United States and hundreds of small gangs. Perhaps it may seem strange, but the authorities and the police even today are interested in increasing the number of rows in street gangs, especially in the "colored" groups. That is, in reality simply appears to be a modified form of apartheid and racial discrimination. White-skinned people allow black-skinned and Latinos to kill each other with total impunity, what actually happens in the shootouts and during the division of spheres of influence of the criminal gangs, thereby reducing the number of criminal own layer. It is favorable to the government for one another reason, while criminals are busy shooting each other, they do not care about the fact that government abuses the power. Those who manage to escape death in the street skirmishes end up in prison, and under federal law are deprived of voting rights and, therefore, become eliminated from the obedient electorate.(Wilkinson 27)
Criminal subculture is a complex social sensation, which is the object of investigation of a few exploratory orders: criminology, human science, social studies and psychology. From the standpoint of science the need to study the psychology of the criminal subculture is due to the fact that it is involved in shaping the personality of individuals through a process of socialization in the criminal world, as it is a part of human society, a part of its culture, and, accordingly, has a definite place in the system of human values. In addition, as already noted, the study of the criminal subculture helps to understand the internal laws that exist in criminal environment to evaluate changes occurring in it and explore the internal issues of reproduction of crime, which are largely psychological. This applies particularly to young people, because due to their age, when they sharply experience feelings of romanticism, maximalism and cruelty, it is the most fertile ground for the spread of criminal subculture and recruitment of new members of various criminal groups.(Delaney 32)
Representatives of the criminal subculture, carriers of its norms and values are criminal gangs and personal recidivist criminals. They learn and accumulate experience stable criminal, and then pass it on to others. First of all, we are talking about the people who passed through the prisons and colonies, in other words having the experience in criminal life and life in prison.(Delaney 35)

Characteristic features of the criminal subculture are:

• sharply expressed hostility to the generally accepted norms and values;
• Internal communication with the prison traditions;
• are closed to the uninitiated;
• Presence of a whole set of strictly regulated attributes that exists in group consciousness;
Violation of the rights of personality, which is expressed in an aggressive, hard and cynical attitude towards weak and defenseless members of society;

Dishonesty and two-faced attitude to the "other";

Parasitism, exploitation of the "bottom", a mockery of them;
The depreciation of the results of human labor, reflected in the vandalism;
Disrespect to the rights of owners, expressed in the theft and embezzlement;
Encouragement of cynical attitude towards women and sexual promiscuity;
Encouragement of base instincts and all forms of antisocial behavior.
Unlike law abiding social groups, in the criminal subculture psychosocial stratification is secured by social stigma that is especially true for places of detention. This means that the status, role and functions of the individual in the group are reflected in signs, real attributes and the importance of the individual in the space occupied by a gang. In criminal groups operate certain distinctions, that can determine who is who.(Wilkinson 15)
The career of a candidate for a street gang is based on the same set of principles in the majority of gangs. Potential soldiers are selected on the street as early as they under 8-10 years old. Firstly, the candidate is obliged to complete small errands, after that the candidate that is settled for money allowances or drugs is trusted for bigger business, such as stealing, theft or even murder. Getting older and more experienced, a juvenile delinquent is already involved in an ever-smoldering war with competitors. If during this period he manages to survive, the candidate passes in the major leagues. But even there his life does seem to last long. On average, members of street gangs in a year and a half after falling into a criminal environment either die or are behind bars, adding a different stratum of today's criminal America that are prison gangs.(Shelden, Tracy and Brown 45)
Anybody is not insured from getting involved into the gang. The leaders of criminal groups quickly realized that it is best to enlist recruits in schools. One in five American understudy receives an offer to join a criminal group, but most beginners connect their lives with crime in 10-12 years. Sometimes recruiters gangs treated even five-year first-graders to join the gang. Schools at present take the fourth place among the enlistment focuses of criminal groups.(Weisel 23)
Gangs use the fact that the mind of the child at this age is unstable, he wants to feel like an adult, and belonging to any structure helps him to solve the problem of self-identification, which is peculiar to teenagers. In addition, children pocket money is not enough: many parents lost their jobs and find second jobs for teens in the post-crisis period is almost impossible.(Weisel 24)
Today at risk proved to be practically all the young generation of United States of America. Meanwhile, the total number of youth gangs has caught up with the US Army, and many bandits managed to serve in the army, get the skills of warfare and weapons possession.
Criminal activity of gangs generates personal insecurity among citizens, a sense of insecurity in their life, feeling of fear, disrupt the functioning of state bodies and civil society institutions. Increased public danger that is caused by activity of criminal gangs is primarily in the arrogant, aggressive forms of its manifestation. Therefore existence of criminal gangs is always recognized as one of the most serious social issues in any society.

Works Cited

Barker, Thomas. North American Criminal Gangs. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2012. Print.
Delaney, Tim. American Street Gangs. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.
Shelden, Randall G, Sharon K Tracy, and William B Brown. Youth Gangs In American Society. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co., 1997. Print.
Weisel, Deborah Lamm. Contemporary Gangs. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub., 2002. Print.
Wilkinson, Deanna Lyn. Guns, Violence, And Identity Among African American And Latino Youth. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub., 2003. Print.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 11) Gangs Research Papers Example. Retrieved December 07, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/gangs-research-papers-example/
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