Juvenile Delinquency : A Serious Concern For Many Law Enforcement Agencies Essay

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Youth gang members are a serious concern for many law enforcement agencies. Gangs can be defined as a group of individuals who meet on a routinely basis, whom have an identifiable and organized leadership, whom claim control of specific territories, and whom are often involved in violence or other illegal activities (Miller, 1975). Juveniles are the perfect targets to be recruited by gangs according to the National Gang Intelligence Center (2011). This is due to a variety of factors, many of which include the youths’ vulnerability and susceptibility to being recruited, their aggressiveness, and the less severe sentences juveniles are likely to face if caught. Understanding youth gang involvement is especially important in the field of juvenile delinquency because a significant percentage of serious juvenile delinquency is committed by gang members. On average, approximately 48% of violent crimes in most jurisdictions were committed by gang members, and some jurisdictions saw gangs being responsible for as much as 90% of violent crimes (National Gang Intelligence Center, 2011). Besides increasing the likelihood of delinquency, youth gang membership also increases the likelihood of victimization for juveniles (Franzese, Covey, & Menard, 2016). New male members are traditionally “jumped in,” and females have been victims of rape in order to be accepted. Franzese and colleagues. (2016) suggest, however, that many gangs have adopted more informal methods to introduce

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