Gangs In California Essays

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.

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They were arrested, incarcerated and, while incarcerated, continue to recruit and build their gang.

Other gang members in prison had no gang affiliation prior to their imprisonment but joined one of the prison gangs - many of which have counterparts on the streets.

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.

The nature of the prison gang problem was highlighted by Fleisher and Decker A persistently disruptive force in correctional facilities is prison gangs.

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.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.Other correctional agencies, however, report their gang troubles started inside rather than outside prison walls.Camp and Camp cite that of the 33 agencies surveyed, 26 reported street counterparts to prison gangs.In Texas, there were nine prison gangs with more that 50 members each, totaling 2,407.Fong reported eight Texas gangs with 1,174 members.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.An ex-gang member, now director of a community-based anti-gang program, told me "As a black male, I thought prison was a natural right of passage - certainly in my surroundings. it was my rite of passage into adulthood." In its Colorado incarnation, each member (of La Nuestra Familia - a prison-based Chicano gang) contributes as a mutual aid society and is benefited by his contributions, especially in times of need.The gang is the means through which convicts construct and maintain an identity.

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