Miller defines a street gang as "a self-formed association of peers, united by mutual interests, with identifiable leadership and internal organization, who act collectively or as individuals to achieve specific purposes, including the conduct of illegal activity and control of a particular territory, facility, or enterprise. The structure of gangs varies depending primarily on size, which can range from five or ten to thousands. Many of the larger gangs break up into smaller groups, cliques or sub-sets.
Older on average, but narrower age range Klein, p. Children and adolescents who hang out together in shopping malls and other places and may be involved in minor forms of delinquency. Small clusters of friends who band together to commit delinquent acts such as burglaries.
Taggers are often called gang members, but they typically do nothing more than engage in graffiti contests. Groups of adolescents that may function as gangs only at school.
Semi structured groups of adolescents and young adults who engage in delinquent and criminal behavior. Loosely organized groups of drug-trafficking operations that generally are led by both young and older adults but sometimes include adolescents.
Small groups of adults that engage in lucrative criminal activity primarily for economic reasons. Names of Gangs Although many communities have gangs that bear the names of earlier gangs that originated in Los Angeles and Chicago, the actual membership of these newer gangs is often locally based and has little or no real national affiliation.
These hybrids - new gangs that may have the names but not the other characteristics of older gangs - are one of the new types of gangs most frequently found in communities that had no gang culture prior to the s or s. Starbucket al. For example, the 14th Street Bandilleros fictitious are, as evidenced by their name, claiming to be in the nation of Bandilleros but are the 14th Street set.
So, what is a set? I am from the state of Missouri.
Everyone in Missouri may be called a Missourian but when asked where they come from, they often say the name of the city in Missouri from which they come.
I am a native St. In gang slang, St. Louis would the set I belong to in the larger gang known as the Missourians.
By analogy, a person may be a Bandillero but, as in our example, he will claim to be a 14th Street Bandillero. There may be thousands of sets within a nation of gangs i. Set members tend to name themselves according to the names of the streets on which their founder or several of their members live, or the name of their local neighborhood, parks, schools, or other landmarks in their vicinity.
Some gangs have no such territorial ties and name their gangs using other rationales. Before I began my research I thought each nation Bloods, Crips, etc. Instead, sets in the same nation may or may not get along with one another, seldom know one another, and seldom share the same rules, goals, or beliefs.
The name of a "nation" in association with the name of a local gang may have nothing to do with that nation. For example, the use of "Crip" after a local gang name the name of the set does not mean that the members of that gang know any of the other Crips in another city, although they may know some of the Crips in other local Crip sets.
And they may or may not get along with other sets of Crips. It is important to note that when a gang has taken the name of a nationally known gang, this does not necessarily indicate that the gang is part of a group with a national infrastructure.
These loosely structured gangs are often more violent and criminally active than the gangs they seek to imitate.The gang characterization is sometimes broadly extended beyond the street and/or youth designation to include terrorist gang, prison gang, motorcycle gang, or criminal gang as in organized crime.
Dec 21, · You don't become a gang expert overnight. You don't become qualified to testify in court in just a couple of years. LAPD rotated its officers in and out of CRASH gang units and station areas, but the OSS gang deputies remained in OSS and LASD stations for years, allowing them to develop greater, more complete expertise.
Gangs and serious youth violence are a growing concern. Whilst they are the product of severe socio-economic deprivation, by creating a culture of violence and criminality they are simultaneously a key driver of social breakdown in the communities in which they thrive.
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