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November 30, 2016
QLI: Background Research
Gangsterism is defined as belonging to a gang that brings fear and violence in various communities. Certain communities in New York go through the fear and danger of encountering a dangerous gang that could not only harm the people in it physically, but also mentally. Especially children or teens that are subject to the violence of these gangs end up having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from such events. The influences gangs have in a community are increased levels of crime, violence and even murders. Also, the people that are part of a gang or gang members have long-term effects, such as dropping out of school, suffer through unemployment, overuse of drugs and alcohol and even go to jail (Friedrichs).
The origins of the existence of gangs traced back to the 1800s. The main elements that fueled it were the poverty and immigration that was going on in New York City. There were also disorders in city slums and tenements where people were unemployed and did not have any skill to find a job (Howell & Moore). Discrimination against immigrants took a part also because different cultures would end up having conflicts against each other, which caused the rise of gangs. This problem persists because of the amount of people that live in poverty without an education or job to maintain them. The community they would live would not be in the best shape, therefore making it more susceptible to gang involvement. There are areas in New York that have different rates of crime due the number of murders, robberies, and assaults that were reported. For example, parts of Manhattan such as Midtown, Midtown south and Hudson Yards are some of the areas that have the highest crime rates, while most parts, if not all, of Staten Island have the lowest crime rates (SIPA).
The way gangs come to affect the well being of the people on different types of communities is that brings a negative impact to the youth. Perhaps some don’t really have a place to fit in or belong to, but find it when they join a gang and have the same desires as the members. Some gangs also have conflicts and rivalries, which bring violence not only to them but also to the bystanders in the community. “Reports of gang-related homicides are concentrated mostly in the largest cities in the United States, where there are long-standing and persistent gang problems and a greater number of documented gang members—most of whom are identified by law enforcement as young adults” (J. Howell). The youth are an easy target for gang involvement according to this statement and therefore come to bring more problems in areas where gang activity is high. They can easily be influenced to join a gang, there increasing the possibility of dropping out of school, victimization, committing crimes, drugs and even teen parenthood. This would not only affect the lives of the youth but it would also affect the lives of their peers, parents and community overall in a way that it is becoming a less safe environment due to gang activity (youth.gov).
This issue is ultimately essential because of the well-being and safety of the people in different communities. Kids should not be afraid of going to the park or walking the block in fear of encountering a gang, parents shouldn’t be overstressing over how else they can get their children to be safe and not have to worry about them joining a gang or even worse being a victim of one. “Gangs provide an environment in which deviant and illegal behaviors are learned and improved upon, and techniques for avoiding detection are learned” (Carlie). However if gang activity were to be reduced, then communities would have a chance to rise, feel safe and work without having fear. No kid should ever be traumatized because of this, because of the violence gangs bring and their victimizing of innocent people that have nothing to do with it. With less gangs, there would less murders, assaults, robberies and fear from the people in the community.
Some programs that were made in order to deal with this issue are the Safe Alternatives and Violence Education “SAVE” and the Adolescent Social Action Program “ASAP”. SAVE is an education curriculum to raise awareness for teens from ages 10-17 who are carrying weapons. If a student was found doing so, then he/she would get a referral to go to SAVE in order to learn the real dangers of carrying a weapon. This program helps promote a safer environment for students in school to not carry weapons that could lead to violence. ASAP is a program where “Peer resistance” and “decision making training” are used in order to increase self-responsibility and life skills for youth participants. It helps address the high-risk behaviors that could lead them to doing drugs or even becoming part of a gang (Juvenile Justice Bulletin)
To help with the issue, The New York City government is helping fund an anti-violence initiative where former gang members form up to “fight gangsterism by example”. These former gang members are known as Gangstas Making astronomical Community Change. The Government of NYC is trying a different approach to deal with violence, which is, instead of flooding areas where there is high gang activity with cops, deal with it with former gang members as the antibodies to the disease which is violence and crime (Walshe).
Friedrichs, Matt. “Gangs: Problems and Answers.” EDGE. Accessed November 29, 2016
Carlie, Michael. “Why Be Concerned About Gangs” Into The Abyss. Accessed November 29, 2016
“Violence in the Community” Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Accessed November 29, 2016
“Gang Involvement Prevention” Youth Topics. Accessed November 29, 2016
Howell, James. “The Impact of Gangs in Communities” NYGC Bulletin. Accessed November 29, 2016
Walshe, Sadnbh. “NYC launches anti-violence initiative to fight gangsterism by example” Accessed November 29, 2016
Moore, John. “History of Street Gangs in the United States” NGCB. Accessed November 29, 2016
State of New Yorkers – “A Well-Being Index” SIPA. Accessed November 29, 2016 of the well-being and safety of the people in different communities. Kids should not be afraid of going to the park or walking the block in fear of encountering a gang, parents shouldn’t be overstressing over how else they can get their children to be safe and not have to worry about them joining a gang or even worse being a victim of one. “Gangs provide an environment in which deviant and illegal behaviors are learned and improved upon, and techniques for avoiding detection are learned” (Carlie). However if gang activity were to be reduced, then communities would have a chance to rise, feel safe and work without having fear. No kid should ever be traumatized because of this, because of the violence gangs bring and their victimizing of innocent people that have nothing to do with it. With less gangs, there would less murders, assaults, robberies and fear from the people in the community.
Some programs that were made in