Gangs In California Essays

Gangs In California Essays-27
Moreover, the gang serves to reduce the potential for psychological and physical violence against its members.As the gang phenomenon has grown and spread in America's cities and counties, there has been a parallel growth and spread of gangs in America's prisons.In other prisons, notably in California and Texas, gangs have formed which had no counterpart on the street. Examples of these gangs include the Mexican Mafia, Neta, Aryan Brotherhood, Black Guerrilla Family, La Nuestra Familia and the Texas Syndicate.

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Another 6% engaged in illegal activities with groups exhibiting only three or four gang characteristics.

If a prison gang were defined as a group of inmates characterized as sharing at least three of the six characteristics identified above, in addition to committing crimes in the prison, then approximately twelve percent (12%) of the prison inmates were likely involved in gangs in 1991.

Although the numbers may now be completely out-of-date and inaccurate, the following results of the survey are instructive.

Gangs, as defined in the survey, were groups of inmates which share 5 or 6 of the following characteristics in addition to committing criminal acts in the prison: The survey revealed that approximately 6% of inmates belonged to groups engaging in illegal activities which exhibited five or six characteristics of gangs (above).

Knox and Tromanhauser suggest there are approximately 100,000 or more prison gang members across the nation.

Subsequent to Camp and Camp the American Correctional Association found that prison gang membership doubled between 19 from 12,624 to 46,190, with relatively few gang members in minimum security units.There's no way to know how many prisons have gang member inmates due, in part, to the fact that "Politics generally determine whether agencies [prisons] ...admit to having STGs [Security Threat Groups like gangs]." It may also be impossible to gather accurate information on how many of America's prisoners are involved in gang activity.Illinois reported that 34.3 percent of inmates belonged to a prison gang, which was then the highest percent of prison gang-affiliated inmates in the nation Lane reported that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) estimated the inmate gang population to be nearly 90 percent of the entire population, attributing that number to the importation of gangs from Chicagos streets, which is supported by research.Reesshows that Chicago police estimated more than 19,000 gang members in that city and a high percent of IDOC inmates were arrested in Cook County.The first prison gang with nationwide ties was the Mexican Mafia, which emerged in 1957 in the California Department of Corrections.Camp and Camp identified approximately 114 gangs with a membership of approximately 13,000 inmates.Prison gangs disrupt correctional programming, threaten the safety of inmates and staff, and erode institutional quality of life.The authors review the history of, and correctional mechanisms to cope with prison gangs.Later, Montgomery and Crews argued that Knox and Tromanhauser overestimated the prison gang population and cited the American Correctional Associations 1993 study that reported some 50,000 prison gang members.conducted a Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities in 1991.That survey, together with similar surveys conducted in 1974, 1979, and 1986, represents the largest single database on America's prisoners.


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