Classification of Gangs

847 Words Feb 12th, 2014 4 Pages
Classification of Gangs
Introduction
The problem of classifying gangs has interested both sociologists and law enforcement. For the purpose of law enforcement, a gang is generally defined as an organized group among the members of which there is well-designed communication. This paper evaluates classification schemes from current research for gangs. The objective is to discover the issues and problems in creating classifications for gangs including a definition which delineates what constitutes a gang and differentiates it from other social and sports groups. The paper also compares approaches to classifications of gangs and evaluates how these classifications provide specific insights or information about gangs in a community.
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They are commonly found in US- Mexico border.
Classification approaches towards gangs are generally carried out according to the structure of the gang, their respective membership, and even on the basis of their ethnicity. Pyrooz & Decker, (2011) have identified three forms of gangs which are named as; street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs and prison gangs. In this method of classification, local street gangs are termed as the ones which occur most frequently at the community level. These are the forms of gangs which engage in drug related crimes and violence.
According to Pyrooz & Decker, (2011), majority of street gangs are inherently based at local level and they tend to operate in single locations. Prison gangs are described as those whose networks are structured to a high degree and they tend to operate within prison systems. In addition, members of these gangs are the ones who have been released from prison (Hegemann, Smith, & Barbaro, 2011). With respect to law enforcement, these gangs are the most challenging to deal with. Membership of prison gangs is usually composed of fewer than fifty members.
Another approach towards classification of gangs is carried out according to the life of the gangs. These gangs are termed as scavenger gangs, territorial gangs and organized gangs. Scavenger gangs have little structure and their size is also small. School gangs are one frequently found instance of

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