Confronting Gang Violence
Few categories of criminal enterprise have received as much popular media attention in the United States as gang activity and gang violence. There are many movies and television shows that revolve around the lives of gangsters—especially in urban areas. Many popular hip-hop songs draw inspiration from the lives of gangsters and, in some cases, appear to glorify them. Whenever Americans think or hear about urban crime, there is an almost inevitable association with movies and television shows. However, some community leaders in urban areas reject the notion that gang activity defines big-city life. On the other hand, many law enforcement officials in smaller cities and rural areas decry the lack of attention of policy makers toward the emerging menace of gangs in their areas.
By Week 4, Day 3, in a minimum of 250 words, post to the Discussion Area your responses to the following:
- In light of the assigned readings in this module and the Department of Justice (DOJ) report on gangs increasingly expanding their operations into the suburbs of the United States, do you share the belief of many criminal justice professionals that gang activity is getting out of control? Or do you think that gang activity is about what it has always been and needs to be confronted but that it isn’t a crisis?
- What are the underlying causes of gang violence—drug trade, poor immigration enforcement, or bad upbringing?
- What are the top two or three key elements of any successful law enforcement or police strategies in dealing with gang activity?