A Review of Gang Violence

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Re: Increased Incidents of Gang Violence within Broward County, Florida
The purpose of this paper is to review and verify a recent study by Scott H. Decker of the University of Missouri – St. Louis, entitled Collective and Normative Features in Gang Violence (Decker & VanWinkle, 1996). The study will attempt to address why our local increase in gang violence has reached monumental heights causing an increase in gang members appearing your court. The overall theme of the study depicts overall “mechanisms and processes that result in the spread and escalation of gang violence” (Pope, Lovell & Brandl, 2001, p. 160). This was achieved by the author by directing his studies on ‘contagion as an aspect of collective behavior that produces expressive gang violence” researchers of this study did this by focusing on “contagion as an aspect of collective behavior that produces expressive gang violence (Pope, Lovell & Brandl, 2001, p. 161). ‘Contagion’ is defined as ‘subsequent acts of violence caused by an initial act; such acts typically take the form of retaliation” (Pope, Lovell & Brandl, 2001, p. 163). These gang related acts can take the form of games, fights, meeting and sometimes homicide. It can also be said that all gang behavior is committed as a group. It then follows that this behavior can safely be categorized as ‘collective’ or grouped behavior. Often times a designated

leader makes the official decision to act (retaliate, perform robbery, commit rape etc)
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