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Why Gangs Can Be Harmful At Risk Youth

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Gangs are not a new phenomenon, or a new problem. Gangs have been around for a long time, and will continue to grow and transform throughout the world. I have viewed gangs in a negative manner, and have carried a false misconception of what exactly a gang is. Television and media is partially to blame for society’s view on gangs and gang violence. Today, there are dozens of “reality” television shows about gangs. It is no surprise the information that we take in through television on the topic of gangs is misleading. Gangs can be a problem, especially gangs that are active in violence, and criminality. The problem here is there is no research that suggests that there is a policy that will address the gang problem, or a preventative measure that produces results. Through research, I will define what a gang is, why gangs can be harmful to at risk youth, what prevention programs accomplish, and the efficacy of prevention programs. I will also determine which of prevention programs has the highest level of effectiveness.
Gangs go way back in time, and have been around for longer than most of us know. Even Newspapers during the economic collapse in the 1800s reports juveniles harassing and assaulting residents of the city. (Grennan, Britz, Rush, & Barker, 2000). Since gangs have been around, there have always been theoretical explanations of the social problems that goes hand and hand with gangs. A false representation of gangs that I have heard many students talk about it the
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