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Juvenile Gangs : A Culture Of Violence

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According to Dr. Carlie, “The culture of the gang is often a culture of violence. It is a

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culture of physical assaults, guns, knives, bats, and anything that one can use to protect him- or

herself or gain advantage over another person or situation,” (2002). Gangs are a subculture of

our society and the greatest concern is the culture of violence that accompanies most gangs.

The defining characteristic that makes a juvenile gang a topic of concern in our country is

the involvement of the gang in criminal activity. Studies that attempt to report specific crime

data involving gangs is difficult to obtain, and it is difficult to get a full, accurate picture of gang

crime. Most statistics involving crimes rely on gang members self-reporting or law enforcement

records. Self-reporting of gang members can be highly subjective. A gang member may not

report all criminal acts due to fear of being caught or may over-exaggerate specific criminal acts.

Honesty, which is a part of moral character, is questioned when relying on self-reporting of gang

members. Law enforcement data can be limited in the scope of accurate and complete reporting.

“Self-report studies are subject to criticism of their validity and reliability about both gang

membership and accounts of criminal behavior. Law enforcement data are limited on both counts as well, exacerbated by the fact that only selected individuals and a
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