Why do individuals become involved in gangs?

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Essay #: 051497
Total text length is 20,192 characters (approximately 13.9 pages).

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The beginning:
Why do individuals become involved in gangs?
Introduction 
In the US alone, 2002 research estimates conclude that there are more than 700,000 street gang members (Johnson). This number is indicative of approximately 1.8% of the current US population, and although gangs are primarily present in urban areas, Johnson states that 27 percent of smaller municipalities (those with populations between 2,500 and 49,999 people) now also have challenges with gangs. The number is rising. As he notes, “the number of cities reporting gangs went from 270 in 1970 to more than 2,500 in 1998, an increase of about 800 percent” (Johnson 3). The vast majority of these gang members are youth under the age of twenty (Johnson; Vigil; Haviland et al). Although...
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