Gangs are becoming a growing problem in American society. More young people are turning to gangs to solve problems in there lives. When youths join gangs they drop social activities with family, friends and school. Members fall behind their classmates in school and do not try. A study shows that less than 1% of gang bangers is literate 1. Gangs destroy teenager lives and destroy their chances for a good education and happy life.
Gangs are now a haven for rats. Teenagers are joining gangs every day. They join gangs for many reasons. A former gang member known as G-Ball was very young when he joined a his gang. He and a friend would play a game.
They would pose as gang members to be cool. Then police arrested him and other gang members for stealing cars. G-Ball never wanted to be a gang member he wanted to act and dress like one. Another former gang member, Alonzo, age 17 wanted to join a gang because he had nothing to do after school.
Both he and G-Ball joined a gang by choice. Keith, age 17 was forced into a gang. If he didn't join, he'd be hunted down and killed by the gang members. When older family member already in a gang, younger siblings are often forced in. Many gangs use graffiti to show their power and to mark their turf. "Everywhere you go you see graffiti." Professor Allen Walker Read of Columbia University said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." Gangs in Parma are very active with the pen.
They "tag" their property buildings and houses everywhere. Police want to know where all the parents are. Why aren't they doing anything about this Many people in Parma want to know the answer to the same questions. Cincinnati also has active gangs.
"Graffiti is a creeping problem in every neighborhood and in and on public buildings" said Mayor Roxanne Qualls of Cincinnati said Graffiti is so bad that Star Bank has donated $25, 000 to have students to help clean up all the graffiti. 2 The city made a group called the "E-Racers." These people are ready to clean up all the graffiti. The gangs set school buses on fire, tear-up park benches, and drive across lawns including the police station lawns. Graffiti comes in many forms. Pictures are used to mark property (turf) but you may also see strange writing below it.
They say to other gangs that they " re the best, the number 1 gang, and to stay away from them. Here are some writings found in California. ' Many gang members wear similar clothes or color. A school in Baytown, Texas has banned its students from wearing the following "gang clothing" -Solid red or black shirt with pants or skirt -Solid red or white shirt over a black shirt -Red and black flannel shirt or jacket -Blue and black flannel shirt or jacket -Clothing with Chicago Bulls, White Sox, Los Angles Raiders, Kings, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, or University of Miami Logos Everyone believes these types of clothes are worn by gang members.
"But what if they start wearing 3-piece suits or Mickey Mouse T-shirts When will it end." Richard Sullivan, 40. 3 Many gangs use hand signs (like sign language). Signs are flashed to gang members or to rival gangs. These signs say we are number one, or Power. They also have signs to show victory and a primo sign after a fight or gang war.
Signs can represent gang names. Some examples are Mafia Crips, Athens Park Boys, or the Underground crip. Signs are shown below. While gangs grow and get more powerful, what is being done City police departments play a big role in stopping violence and drugs. The most popular program for school aged children is the D. A.
R. E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). D. A. R.
E. teaches kids that violence and drugs are not a good way of life. This program takes place in grades' 4-8. In the Phoenix Police Department they support the G. R. E.
A. T. Program. It teaches children avoidance of drugs and gangs. It shows children other ways to have power and belonging. In G.
R. E. A. T. they have 3 rd and 4 th grade summer session and a 7 th and 8 th grade school program. 3 Cindy Horswell, Gangs Get a Dress Down (March 28, 1992) Houston Chronicle.
There are many ways the government and police try to control gangs. Many cities that have large gang problems have special gang units. The National government is stepping in to help. During National Gang Violence Prevention, 1994 (September 12- 16) President Clinton of The United States sent out a proclamation.
He urged communities and citizens to come together to stop violence. The President is working on two time offenders, gun bands, more police, and harder punishments. While violence increases along with awareness why won't it stop Associated Press. "Quick response teams fight graffiti." The Plain Dealer 30 Jun. 1994. Breckenridge, Tom.
"Gang graffiti makes its mark on Parma." The Plain Dealer 26 May 1994. Clinton, William J. "National Gang Violence Orivencion Week, 1994." The White House: Office of the President of the United States Sept. 10, 1994 Internet. Delgado, Robert.
"Anti-Gang Movement" Doug's Home Page Sept. 28, 1995. Internet. Gillispie, Mark. "Chicago gangs still thrive in the city of their birth" The Plain Dealer 12 Jan. 1992.
Gillispie, Mark. "Federal agencies shift concentration to gangs" The Plain Dealer 19 Jan. 1992. Gillispie, Mark; Shepard, Paul. "Former gang members recall 'gentler times'." The Plain Dealer 12 Jan, 1992.
Gillispie, Mark; Shepard, Paul. "Suburban police hoping to nip gangs in the bud." The Plain Dealer 17 Jan 1992. Horswell, Cindy. "Gangs get a dressing down." Houston Chronicle 28 March 1992: 1 A+ Morrison, Benjamin. "Mayor seeks 'New Cleveland'." The Plain Dealer 1 Feb. , 1992.
Neff, Jon. "On-line Guide to Gang Signs and Graffiti" Highway 51 1995 Internet Phoenix Police Department - G. R. E. A. T.
Phoenix Police Department Home Page 1994 Internet. Wels on, Roger. "Off the wall" Natural History May 1993.