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Youth gang members incarceration predicts a number of concerns about their influences on juvenile detention facilities, undermining of programs, and the compromise of institutional security and public safety.
The question whether convicted youth gang members should be treated like other juvenile delinquents including status offenders is very crucial in very many states. This resource manual strives to address this question. As a starting point, this paper will look at the evolvement of gangs and the background of juvenile justice system. There is no one accepted or straightforward definition of a gang. The public and media use the term ‘gang’ more loosely than those in the criminal justice system. A youth gang is commonly thought of as a self-formed association of peers having a gang name and recognizable symbols, identifiable leadership, a geographic territory, a regular meeting pattern, and collective actions to carry out illegal activities. Most gang members define their gang along one or two basic definitional lines which are involvement in crime and the affiliation and cultural aspects of gang membership that make it like a family in the eyes of many members. The youth gang problem in many states has become an important policy issue largely because of the increasing youth gang violence and the apparent proliferation of youth gangs throughout all sectors of the nations. ...
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