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Suburban Gangs

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Across the United States and Europe, suburban gangs are growing as never before,

estimations that in a typical inner city American community of 50,000 or more, there are

200 to 500 gang members. Some even larger organization called super gangs, which have more

than 1,000 members spread over several states, have been known to operate in small town

America. You cannot

say that any community is insulated from this activity," There's no restriction

on where gang members can live. Gang members living in the suburbs share traits with recruits

in the cities, and many of those factors have been exacerbated by tough economic times, The list

of factors include divorce, separation, physical abuse, sexual abuse and having a parent with "a

severe dysfunction," situations that can be found anywhere. The factor that can push a child over

the top and into a gang is a "missing protector," someone the youth can count on in emergencies,

"If you come from an at-risk home, and you don't feel you have someone to turn to in a crisis,

there are three things these kids are looking for: a mask to deal with their pain, a distraction

device to divert them from what they're experiencing or an overpowering device to overpower

that's hurting them," A gang, can provide all three.

Of 64 million youths in the United States, there are an estimated 40 million youth meet at

least one of his risk criteria, although both "at-risk" traits do not automatically translate into gang

activity. They simply create a fertile ground, in cities, rural areas and suburbs

Gang growth in the suburbs occurs in one of three ways, Sometimes established gangs

move into new communities to expand their drug dealing through new recruits. Other times,

parents send their troubled children to live with families in the suburbs and, instead of curing the

problem, the gang members will build up a new crew in their new homes, often exaggerating

their rank and reputation.

Then there are what "teenage mutant gangs," groups of individuals who coalesce on their own.

They sometimes imitate big-city gangs, he said, but often make up their own rules.

"A lot of the people in the business call them 'wannabes,' or imitators." It doesn't matter how

much money a kid's have in their

pockets. If there's not positive activities for a young person to

pursue, they'll follow



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