A Formal Description For A Youth Gang

1503 Words May 16th, 2015 7 Pages
Adolescence is a time of life spanning from the ages of 13 till about 25 when the brain has fully developed. It is a period of life characterized by many up and downs where the individual experiences multiple personal changes (Gladding, 2012, p. 255). In this time of turbulence young individuals may enter into groups that society often refers to as gangs. It is accurate to say that gangs contribute immensely to crime and delinquency however, to say that this is the purpose of all gangs would be misleading. Gangs should instead be seen as existing on a continuum, some ranging from groups of peers who spend time together and may get into trouble, to others who participate in more serious crimes (Gorden, 2000, p. 4). In terms of a specific definition for a gang, there really is not one that has been fully accepted by all. That being said looking at research a formal description for a youth gang perhaps would be that it is a self-formed group of individuals, consisting of three or more members, generally ages 13 to 25, who share a sense of identity, and may or may not take part in delinquent behaviour or crime (Preston & Carr-Stewart, 2012. P. 1 & 2). Often time’s news stories claim that youth gangs are on the rise and must be stopped and the members disbanded. However, to pursue this would be saying that the formation of all gangs are negative and solely for the purpose of delinquent behaviour and crime, which is not always the case. For society to take an active approach on…

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