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Gang Awareness Workshop for parents and educators Time: hour and a half workshop or half day workshop History of gangs in America

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Gang Awareness


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gang awareness
Gang Awareness
  • Workshop for parents and educators

Time: hour and a half workshop or half day workshop

slide2

History of gangs in America

Massive immigration of the early 1800’s fueled the creation of early gangs in New York City. Many immigrants competed for houses, jobs and respect. Many came to America searching for a better life. After struggling and often disillusioned with their prospects they turned to crime, often forming groups to gain control of their environment.

Many ethnicities banded together to take control of their neighborhoods. Youth gangs emerged from immigrant populations as a means to forge social relationships and provide identity for groups feeling marginalized by the dominant social, economic and cultural environment. Gangs today form because of a need to be recognized as a dominant element in society by their peers. Gangs also form for personal protection and financial gain. Entrepreneurial gangs form primarily for monetary reasons. They are involved in the trafficking of drugs, weapons and stolen goods. Street gangs focus less on economic gain and more on turf issues.

slide3

What is a gang?

A gang is defined as a group of people who form a bond for a common purpose and engage in destructive behavior that is violent and criminal in nature. As of the last census in gang survey (2002) there are approximately 26,000 gangs in the United States with over 840,000 gang members. While we generally associate gangs with the inner city urban environment, there have been a 27% increase in gang formation in the suburbs and a 29% increase in rural America.

What are the ages of gang members?

The average age of gang members is from 14-21. Gang members, however can be as young as 8 and as old into their mid 30’s. Recruiting into gangs usually starts in middle school between the ages of 11-14. Some recruitment has been seen in elementary school.

slide4

Who joins a gang and why?

Gangs are not limited to one ethnic or socioeconomic group, yet they identify with a specific cultural orientation. Both boys and girls join gangs for family related motives and personal motivation.

Stressful Home- Because of low socioeconomic status children may join a gang to enhance their economic status through illegal activities such as selling narcotics, robberies, burglaries, and auto theft.

Lack of Parental Involvement- Parents because of their styles of parenting often do not form secure attachments with their children. Their attachments are seen as insecure or ambivalent. Children join gangs to gain these attachments or bonds which were not formed through their parents

Abuse and Neglect- Children join gangs because of abuse at home. Either the parents are physically and psychologically abusing a child at home or the abuse is coming from a sibling. Children join gangs for the protection and security they offer.

(Demonstration) Gang Clothing, Gang Graffiti, Gang Tattoos, Gang Hand signs.

slide5

What do Children have to do to get into a gang?

There are several different ways that recruits are initiated in a gang.

Rolled in (Jumped in, Lined in) This ritual consists of the recruit having to fight three or more members of the gang for a specified amount of time. The time limit varies from gang to gang. This time of initiation is to show how tough the recruit is both mentally and physically. Line-in refers to the gang setting up two lines and the recruit going through the line while they are beaten by gang members

Courted in- An individual is asked to join a gang without going through any initiation. The individual usually has some special talent that the gang wants to take advantage of. The individual may have a strong connection to drugs, is good at stealing cars, may have connection to weapons or may have a specific criminal talent

Sexed in- Sometime female recruits are required to have sex with multiple gang members during an initiation period

Commit Crimes- Some gangs require that a recruit commit a crime to prove that they are good potential candidates to be gang members. The gang initiation may be run on a point system, where recruits must earn points through criminal action to be accepted into the gang

slide6

Gang recruitment methods

Seduction- Gangs create glorified myths that are attractive to you recruits. There is a promise of money, sex, glamour and power. Symbols of gangs such as graffiti hand signs, colors, tattoos, create a visual of attraction for young people. Quite often gangs use parties to recruit potential members.

Subterfuge- Misrepresentation of what a gang is and what it stands for. It is a club or a group of friends to protect each other. Typically gangs target “Latch Key Children”

Obligation- Gang members will do a favor for a youth such as loan money, provide protection, or provide safe haven. In lieu of this gangs demand loyalty to the gang

Coercion- Forced recruitment through intimidation of individuals or family members

Self-recruitment- Youth will make contact with gang members in school and in their community and ask to join.

( Role Play—Vignette on different methods of recruitment) Acted out by Guardian Angel members

slide7

Signs or Clues to Be Aware Of

Change in Behaviors-

Defiance against authority--Defiance should not be confused with children negotiating their independence from caregivers and other adults in their lives. When children defy authority, by refusing to comply with rules set at home and school, they are being pressured through gang recruitment as a measures of their psychological strength to defy the norms of society.

Poor Academic Progress—This may be due to truancy, because of being recruited or being engaged in the gang process.

Lack of interest in extra curricular and recreational activities—Children may stop going to after school activities which they had been previously attending. These may be school related or community based programs. Children may loose interest in specific hobbies or other specific directed interests that have been a major part of their daily routine

Radical Change of Friends —Children will suddenly drop friends at school and in their community, showing little interest in wanting to be part of their lives. They will often be seen around school and in their community with other youths that they have never been identified with. These gang members may be of similar or older age cohorts. They are there for the express purpose of recruitment.

Gang visuals —Children will begin to dress differently, often the “Could Be’s” will begin to wear gang related colors, jewelry, change their style of clothing to identify with a particular gang. You may also see gang identifying graffiti on their books, or other personal possessions.

Contact with Law Enforcement —Police officers will know children by name and may begin to contact parents and school officials of gang involvement.

slide8

Personal motivation

Low Motivation in School and Home- Little challenge is provided in the child’s learning experience in school. Children with special educational needs feel frustrated because their specific educational needs are not accommodated. At home there is little encouragement or interest from the parents. Joining gangs provides a challenge for children to express their own individuality within a group cohort setting.

Behavior Problems- Children consistently act out to seek negative attention in school and home. When they do not get the attention they seek, they join gangs to receive the attention that is lacking in their lives

Peer Pressure- In communities where gangs have infiltrated, there is consistent targeted pressure to join because their friends are joining

Protection and Security- Children join gangs for protection against other children in school and in their community. They may be harassed by bullies at school and in the community.

Poor Personal Life Skills- Children have developed poor personal life skills such as problem solving, communicating, goal setting. They have difficulty assessing their personal needs and act impulsively in major decision making responses to their immediate environment.

Glamorization by the Media- Fashion, Music, Television, unconsciously glamorize gangs through their venues of presentation.

slide9

Prevention and Intervention Strategies in School

Develop an Anti-Gang Environment in your school. Set specific codes of discipline that discourages children from identifying with Gang Society. Obtain the latest information on Gang Awareness through local law enforcement and community youth groups.

Develop a Conflict Resolution Program in school. Peer Mediation has proven to be the most effective tool in preventing youth violence and gang recruitment in schools. Students should be encouraged to be trained in the art of mediation and conflict resolution

Teach flexible coping strategies, well developed problem solving skills, interpersonal skills through cooperative based activities. These strategies help children to define clear options in the decision making process, rather than impulsive decision making.

Assign Peer Mentors to students who are at-risk and might be potential targets for gang recruitment.

Have in place a system for referring children who are being recruited for gang activity, or may be involved in gang activity and need support to get out of the gang

Make frequent contact with Parents of high risk students

Establish a sense of pride and belonging in school by developing activities that are thematic in nature. Allow children to have a voice in school policy and make their learning experience an authentic experience. This allow children to feel capable, contributing and connected to the school and the community in which they live

slide10

Supervise Your Children— Children want, need and expect clear limits. Assertive parenting provides this. Children do not want their parents to be seen as friends. Parents must provide reasonable consequences for their child’s misbehavior, making sure they understand the reason for parental decisions, and make sure you are consistent in your approach. Know your children’s friends and what they are doing with them.

Strong Education and Training—Youth who successfully participate and complete education that will emphasize career development are less likely to identify with gangs for social identity and monetary reasons

Graffiti removal- Gangs typically use graffiti to mark an area or turf they are trying to gain a strong hold in. Consistently removing tags sends a message that they are not wanted in this community.

Conflict Resolution—Set up community based conflict resolution programs through peer mediation to resolve conflict through communication and not violence

Recreational Programs—Sports, Music, Dance, Drama, and other community based programs help children build a sense of self worth and self respect. They help children identify with positive peer and adult role models

slide11

Proactive strategies for prevention and intervention at home and in the community

Family and Community—These are essential elements in the development of a child’s social, emotional and physical needs. If the family is a source of attachment (love, guidance, and protection) that children seek, they will not be forced to seek other venues to attain secure attachments which they believe that gangs can offer. Children need to identify with positive role models in their community such as religious leaders, school pedagogues, coaches, scout leaders, and police as a way of deterring gang recruitment

Raise Your Gang Awareness—The majority of parents today have little knowledge about gangs. They are unaware of the activities that are going on in their community, especially as it relates to recruitment. Through community based education parents and the community at large need to be more sensitive to whether gangs are infiltrating their community.

slide12

Proactive Strategies continued-

Supervise Your Children— Children want, need and expect clear limits. Assertive parenting provides this. Children do not want their parents to be seen as friends. Parents must provide reasonable consequences for their child’s misbehavior, making sure they understand the reason for parental decisions, and make sure you are consistent in your approach. Know your children’s friends and what they are doing with them.

Strong Education and Training—Youth who successfully participate and complete education that will emphasize career development are less likely to identify with gangs for social identity and monetary reasons

Graffiti removal- Gangs typically use graffiti to mark an area or turf they are trying to gain a strong hold in. Consistently removing tags sends a message that they are not wanted in this community.

Conflict Resolution—Set up community based conflict resolution programs through peer mediation to resolve conflict through communication and not violence

Recreational Programs—Sports, Music, Dance, Drama, and other community based programs help children build a sense of self worth and self respect. They help children identify with positive peer and adult role models

slide13

Proactive strategies for prevention and intervention at home and in the community

Family and Community—These are essential elements in the development of a child’s social, emotional and physical needs. If the family is a source of attachment (love, guidance, and protection) that children seek, they will not be forced to seek other venues to attain secure attachments which they believe that gangs can offer. Children need to identify with positive role models in their community such as religious leaders, school pedagogues, coaches, scout leaders, and police as a way of deterring gang recruitment

Raise Your Gang Awareness—The majority of parents today have little knowledge about gangs. They are unaware of the activities that are going on in their community, especially as it relates to recruitment. Through community based education parents and the community at large need to be more sensitive to whether gangs are infiltrating their community.

slide14

GANGS AND IDENTIFIERS AND SYMBOLS

People Nation and Folk Nation "Sets"

Overview

The People Nation and Folk Nation are not gangs - they are alliances under which gangs are aligned.

A simple comparison might be the National and American baseball leagues. The National League is not a team - it is the alliance under which teams like the LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are aligned. The American League is the alliance under which the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees are aligned.

Here we will focus on the individual gangs or "sets" as they are called. Notice the similarity in the set identifiers and the respective alliance identifiers.

For example, the People Nation's five-point star can be found in several People Nation set symbols.

Similarly, the pitchfork is found in most Folk Nation set emblems and graffiti.

slide15

Latin Kings

Also known as LK, Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN), Almighty Latin Charter Nation (ALCN).

Gender Makeup: Male and Female

Racial Makeup: Multiracial

Current estimates regarding active Latin Kings members within the city of Chicago run as high as 25,000. A 1995 Florida assessment estimates 286 Latin King members in the state. As of the 3rd Quarter 1997, the Department of Corrections has 166 inmates/offender members.

Members have actually traveled to locations to assist in the formation of new Latin King factions or chapters. Intelligence indicates the main factions in Chicago, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York communicate with each other when expanding their operations to other cities.

slide16

Characteristics:

  • Latin Kings are generally well structured and organized.
  • They have a strict and detailed charter or constitution.
  • Their motto is "Once a King, always a King."
  • They have an "all for one" mentality.
  • Internal discipline is a high priority.
  • Violations may result in documented suspension, termination, physical assault, or death.
  • Most Latin King factions accept females.
  • Their main focus is to control drug trafficking and internal gang discipline, both within the prison and community.
  • Members commemorate the January 6 as "Kings Holy Day," and the first week in March as "Kings Week". This celebration normally includes the consumption of alcohol and drugs.
slide18

Facts - Crips

  • Originated in Los Angeles in the late 60s
  • Migrated throughout the United States
  • Generally align with Folk Nation sets
  • Extremely violent
  • Multiracial
  • Identifiers/symbols:
    • the color blue
    • blue bandannas and rags
    • use the letter "c" in place of "b" in writing in disrespect for Bloods
    • calling each other "Cuzz"
    • calling themselves "Blood Killas" (BK)
    • wearing British Knight (BK) tennis shoes

Source:

Security Threat Intelligence Unit2601 Blair Stone RoadTallahassee, Florida 32399-2500850-410-4584FAX: 850-413-8184

slide19

Gang Assessment Tool

  • Is there graffiti on or near your neighborhood or community? (5)
  • Is the graffiti crossed out? (10)
  • Do the young people in your community wear colors, jewelry, clothing, flash hand signs, or display other behaviors that may be gang related? (10)
  • Are drugs available in or near your community? (10)
  • Was there a significant increase in the number of physical confrontations within the past 12 months in or near your community? (5)
  • Is there an increasing presence of weapons in your community?(5)
  • Are beepers, pagers, or cellular phones used by the young people in your community? (10)
  • Has there been a 'drive-by' shooting in or around your community? (15)
  • Have you had a "show-by" display of weapons in or around your community? (10)
  • Is the truancy rate and/or daytime burglaries in your community increasing? (5)
  • Have racial incidents increased in your community? (5)
  • Is there a history of gangs in your community? (10)
  • Is there an increasing presence of "informal social groups" with the unusual names that have words like: kings, disciples, queens, posse, crew? (15)
  • Add up your score:
  • 0 - 20 points = No Problem
  • 25 - 45 points = Emerging Problems
  • 50 - 65 points = You Have Problems
  • 70 + points = There Are Serious Problems
  • At 50+ points a need exists to develop a gang prevention and intervention program.