The paper discusses about the role of Gangs in our life, what cost does a community need undergo in the presences of gang, further more it also express their common habits and trait of their personality which make them differentiate from a normal from a normal civilian. In addition to all, the paper also discusses about the ways government’s conduct in eliminating the enhanced populations of Gang in the Society. In totality, the paper revolves round the lifestyle of gangs, the violence they create and the efforts of various entities for making them a normal civilian again.


Gang’s violence

Violence in Our Communities
Youth gangs and gang violence contribute to the overall level of violence in the community and are a drain on community resources:
Youth Gang Violence
while most women and men in the United States grow up subscribing to such American ideals as democracy. Individualism, equality, and education, others do not. Many of those who do not are economically disadvantage and have lost faith in society capacity to work on their behalf. Some of these seek refuge and reward in organized subcultures groups of youngster who feel similarly disenfranchised.

One popular subculture structure is the youth gang. a self formed association of peers bound together by mutual interests, with Identifiable leadership and well-defined lines of authority. Youth gangs act in concert to achieve a specific purpose, and their acts generally include illegal activities and the control over a particular territory or enterprise. Types of Illegal activities in which gang members participate include larceny/theft, aggravated assault, burglary/breaking and entering, and street drug sales.
A recent survey of a representative sample of 3,018 enforcement agencies revealed youth gang activity in 40% of the districts under their jurisdiction. This is a significant decline since 1996, when 53% of jurisdiction reported youth gang activity. An estimated 24.500 gangs were active in the United States In 2000. Gang activity is more prevalent in cities with a population 25000 or greater. There were more than 750.000 active gang members in 2000 (James, 2007).

Cost of the Community

Youth gangs and youth gang related violence present an enormous drain on the law enforcement resources of a community beyond the injuries and injury death that result from their activities. Pressured to do something, field officers may be pulled from other duties and not replaced, if additional police are hired, it can cost the community $ 50,000 per year per officer. Next, there is the additional need to strengthen the prosecutor’s office if the operation is to be effective. In shun, the suppression of gangs by law enforcement is costly for communities, often depicting resources for other needed community improvements. Another problem is vandalism and the defacing of public and private buildings by gang-related graffiti. This money spent repairing damage and erasing graffiti could be wed to hire teachers or to 9upport educational activities (James, 2007).

Community Response
Various communities have responded effectively to the increased violence resulting from gang related activity. Perhaps the best approach is a multifaceted effort Involving law enforcement, education, diversion activities, and social service support.  Suppression of gang activity by law enforcement is justified because many gangs- related activities—such as selling illicit drugs.  Carrying and discharging weapons, and defacing property—are illegal. Education of children, teachers, parents, and community leaders is another facet of gang related violence prevention. Just as there are drug abuse prevention curricula to schools, there are now anti-gang awareness programs in some schools. Diversion activities, Including opportunities and after-school activities such as enrichment programs, sports, and recreation, can reduce the attractiveness of less wholesome uses of free time. Sports and recreational activities have long been touted as a healthy outlet for pent-up physical energy. It seems logical to assume that young persons who participate in such activities would be less likely to become involved in destructive, violent behavior (James, 2007).

Federal Government’s Response
In 1993, two important pieces of legislation were passed and signed into law: the
Brady Handgun violence Prevention Act and the National Child Protection Act of 1993. the
‘Brady Bi11 was signed with great fanfare by then President Bill Clinton who stated that
Americans are finally fed up with violence that cuts down another citizen with gunfire every 20 minutes”. The Brady Handgun violence Prevention Act, implemented in Feb 1994, was aimed at reducing interstate gun trafficking and requires a five day waiting period and a background check on all handgun buyers, One of the purpose of the waiting period is to allow time for state and local police to run background checks on the purchasers. Some of whom might be legally barred from owning a handgun because of a criminal record, In addition to the Brady Law, which established national restrictions on the acquisition of firearms and ammunition from federal firearms licensees, there are other Laws that attempt to regulate firearms. At least 50 studies have been carried out to determine the effects of firearm Laws on presenting violence. A recent task force report reviewed SI such studies to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to determine that firearm laws do present do prevent violence in the community. The task force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms Laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcome. The task force noted, however, that their finding did not mean there w as evidence of ineffectiveness. Thus, it remains to be proven whether or not firearm laws can be effective in reducing firearm- related violence  (Winifred  Et al , 2002).

The Natural child Protection Act, meanwhile, encourages states to require fingerprint based national background check on individuals seeking employment in the child care field. The violent Crime Control and law enforcement Act of 1994 subsequently amended this act to also include those seeking employment with the elderly and disabled (Gustav, 2000).
The Office or Justice Programs offers a variety of programs to state and local agendas aimed at reducing intentional violence. Included are programs to empower communities (Community Prosecution, Safe Schools Initiative, Safe Start, Weed and Seed, and Offender Reentry). There are also programs aimed at breaking the cycle of drug abuse and crime (the strategies may be used to reduce the members and seriousness of unilateral injuries the communities) (Malcolm, 2004).

  • Intentional injuries are the outcomes of self-directed or interpersonal violence.
  • The spectrum of violence includes assaults, abuse (child, spouse, and the elder) rape, robbery, suicide and homicide.
  • Minorities and youth are at the highest risk from injury and death from an intentional violent act.
  • Family violence, including child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse, is serious and pervasive health problem (Gustav, 2000).
  • Widely publicized lethal violence in schools has once again focused national attention on violence in our schools. However, schools remain a relatively safe place for the Nation’s youth.


The gang mentality is strange to say the least. They almost always kill members or their own race. It was very rare to see a Hispanic gang member kill a Black, Caucasian. or Asian gang member, and vice versa. No one was ever able to say exactly why. It was always they’re cool or they respect us.

Here’s a little story to illustrate (he gang mentality, as strange as it is. By the way, the story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed because I’m not protecting anybody.

My partner and I responded to a gang-related homicide scene one night in the northeast area of Los Angeles, when we arrived, we found the victim seated in the rear passenger seat or a vehicle legally parked at the curb in a residential district. The victim was a female Hispanic, eleven years of age, dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest. (I don’t care how hard you are when you see an eleven-year-old girl shot dead. You may not burst into tears, but you will feel something Two witnesses told the exact same story, “A gang bang from another neighborhood walked past the car, saw them inside, and asked, ‘where you from?’ They said nowhere, and he shot into the car and ran away. 1le was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.” Now that is a typical walk-by gang shooting, so it fits everything one learns about gang homicides (Gustav, 2000).

Witness No. I. The sixteen-year-old sister or the eleven-year-old victim was seated in the front passenger seat closest to the shooter. She was crying a lot and was very believable.
Witness No. 2. A thirteen-year-old Hispanic male, he was seated in the rear seat (behind the driver’s seat) beside the victim. This lad was very nervous and could not keep eye contact during the entire interview.

The driver of the vehicle was an eighteen-year-old Hispanic male who had driven to a friend’s house and went inside, leaving the three passengers in the car, His story was he neither saw nor heard anything.
Witnesses never tell the exact same story, something differs, irony the terminology, and due to the demeanor of witness no. 2, we went back and interviewed everybody again, and we got the same answers, we were so sure that something was being left out or added that we took them back to the scene and had them do a walk-through (acting out exactly how it went). That’s when witness no. 2, the thirteen-year-old boy, decided to change a few things; and that’s when we knew we had them, A little pressure, and the kid broke. This is the way it really happened. The thirteen-year-old and the eighteen-year-old had talked about doing a drive-by (driving past another gang member and shooting him) earlier but when they drove around the rival gang’s neighborhood, nobody was out at that time, so they planned to go back and do it later. Then they went by and picked up the girls, the sixteen-year-old being the eighteen-year-olds girlfriend, her little sister came along for the ride. The eighteen-year-old stopped by one or his homeboys’ house and the others in the car. Being a big man, the thirteen-year-old took the gun from the console between the front seats and was showing it to the girls and playing around with it and accidentally shot the eleven-year-old dead center in the chest. They made up the story about the walk by and hide the gun in the crawl space beneath the homeboy’s house, then called the police, their only problem was, when they called the police, the wrong t showed up. (That’s a pat on the back for my partner and me. But when you call the LAPD, that’s what you get. The most aggressive department in the world, we had to be because we were always so few.) Your question is, why take a thirteen-year-old on a drive-by Simple. If you get caught, the thirteen-year-old takes the rap. As a juvenile offender, a first offense, he’s back home before the neighborhood misses him (Gustav, 2000).

Ways to Identify Gang Members

Gang Names
Gang names vary from colorful and imaginative to straightforward. They commonly refer to localities, rebellion, animals, royalty and religion. Localities are typically streets (e.g. seventh streeters), cities or towns (the center city boys), neighborhoods (the Westsider) and housing projects (the Tiburon courts). Names denoting rebellion, revolution or lawlessness include the Gangster, outlaws, Hustler, savages, warlords and assassins. Common animal’s names include the tigers, cougars, panthers, cobras, ravens and eagles. Royal titles include the kings, emperors, lords, imperials, knights, dukes and even Royals. Religious names include the popes and disciples. Gangs may also be designated by the leaders name such as ‘Garcia’s Boys’ often, a locality is coupled with another category, for example, the south side savages (Malcolm, 2004).


Gang use symbols or logos to identify themselves, often these symbols are taken from professional or college sports teams (e.g the Latin kings use the kings logos as an indentifying symbol),  religion  and the occult (crosses and pentagrams and other universally recognized symbols, including the playboy bunny) (Malcolm, 2004).


It is an important for a gang member to reinforce their sense of belonging by adopting a gang style of dress. Gang symbols are common clothing in particular can distinguish a gang. Gang members also use jerseys, T-shirts and jackets with the emblems (Malcolm, 2004).

Representing also signifies gang allegiances. Representing is a manner of dressing that uses an imaginary line drawn vertically through the body. Anything to the left of the line is representing left, anything to the right is representing right: for example, a hat cocked to the right, right pant leg rolled up and a cloth or bandana tied around the right arm (Michael, 2011).

Hand Signals

A common method of gang communications is that of flashing gang signs or hand signals, the purpose of which is to identify the users with the specific gang. Hand signs communicate allegiance or opposition to another group (Winifred and Scott, 2002). Most hand signs duplicate or modify signing used by the deaf and hearing impaired.


Certainly the most observable gang communication is wall writings or graffiti, an important part of the Hispanic and black gang traditions. It proclaims to the world that status of the gang, delineates the boundaries of their turf and offers a challenge to rivals. Graffiti may show opposition for a rival gang by displaying the rival gang by displaying the rival gang by displaying the gang’s symbols upside down, backward or crossed out – a serious insult to the rival  (Patricia, 2009).

The Dangers Posed To Emergency Medical Staff and Others

Emergency departments located in cities are at the highest risk for violence from street gangs.  Staff can often become unknowing victim of drug or gang-related feuds. Injured gang members feel threatened when they are suddenly thrust into an environment) that is controlled by their perceived such as law enforcement or medical personnel, they will not hesitate to impose their dominance with violence (Michael, 2011).

Hospital must train emergency department staff to recognize potential gang activities. Street gangs can generally be recognized by unique gang identifiers such as the consistent use of the same color or symbol worn by a group of individuals or clothing designed by a specific designer or clothing representing a specific sports team. The presence of particular tattoos can define membership in a gang, and the appearance of a symbol that is displayed in a tattoo may identify an individual as the member of a gang. In addition, gang members have in his possession such as telephones, books, bandanas, or other items (Winifred and Scott, 2002). Other identifiers among gang members may be unusual body piercings, hand signals, language, hairstyles, specific brand of tennis shoes, and the types and colors of shoelaces, encourage staff to pay particular attention to tattoos because certain tattoos are a clear and distinctive gang trait and can pinpoint the gang in which your patient may be a member .Remember the details of tattoos, including colors, symbols and placement so that you can report information to the police department. Tattoos are catalogued so that the police and the law organizations can identify gangs and can anticipate or recognize gang activity and crime in certain areas.

Gang members typically use special hand signal to communicate with each other .ED staff must also be educated about impending signs of potential violence from street gangs or from any individual..Caution and awareness are essential watchwords for the safety of the emergency department staff. Agitation is a hallmark of impending danger, Agitation as symptom may be easy for ED professional to identify in a patient because of physiologic state of agitation may due to pain, anoxia, or fear in individual who has come to the emergency room for care. It is a critical that the alert triage and ED staff also consider agitation as a potential warning sign of imploding gang violence that may be about to erupt. Agitation can expose a gang member who has been in a recent fight or who is looking to start fight (Malcolm, 2004).









Gustav Mark Gedatus (2000), Gangs and Violence, Gedatus Capstone PressInc, 23-25

James Diego Vigil (2007), The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles

Malcolm W. Klein (2004), Gang Cop: The Words and Ways of Officer Paco Rivera, Rowman Altamira, 155-160

Michael Palmiotto (2011), Community Policing: A Police-Citizen Partnership, Criminology and Justice Studies, Taylor & Francis, 99-104

Patricia Allen (2009), Violence in the Emergency Department: Tools & Strategies to Create a Violence-Free ED, Springer Publishing Company, 22-50

University of Texas Press, 24-60

Winifred L. Reed, Scott H. Decker (2002), Responding to Gangs: Evaluation and Research, DIANE Publishing, 155-160