The Community Problem of Gangs and Related Violence

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The community problem of gangs and related violence is prevalent all over the United States. Young people join gangs for a variety of reasons. Some may feel isolated from their general school or social communities and search out the connections and community affiliation offered by gangs. Others are seduced by the importance attached to generally laudable qualities like loyalty and honor. In a gang setup, however, these are generally proven by violent or criminal activities. Some young people could also be somewhat seduced by the romantic notion of belonging to a group of people who all stand for the same thing and would give their lives for the cause and each other. To curb the danger related to gangs and gang violence and to protect young people from being coerced into gangs, parents, educators, and government officials need to be aware of the various reasons why a young person would join a gang, the most insidious, violent, and dangerous of which is arguably coercion. Open and honest communication between parents and their children could be seen as the first important platform from which to fight the continuous threat of gang membership and violence. According to Carlie (2002), coercion has been used by gangs to recruit members for as long as gangs have existed. Generally, this method is most often used by large gangs who are active in cities known for their gangs. Motivated by stress factors such as gang conflict or the need to generate money, coercion is used to create

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