Gang Prevention Brochure English

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Gang Prevention Brochure English Powered By Docstoc
					How to Discourage
Your Children from
Joining Gangs
o   Discourage your children from                                                    Prevention is the answer
    hanging       around    with       gang
    members.       Meet your children’s
o   Occupy your children’s time.
o   Spend time with your children.
o   Do not buy or allow your children
    to dress in gang style clothing.
o   Do not allow your children to write
    or practice writing gang names,
    symbols, or any other graffiti on
    their books, papers, clothes, bodies,
    walls or any other place.                 *In case of emergency please call
o   Teach your children to respect
    other people’s property.                                911
o   Learn about gang and drug activity        *For non-emergency calls please
                                                                                   IS YOUR CHILD
    in your community.          Learn how                 call                       AT RISK TO
    gang members dress, how they
    speak, their behavior, and their
                                                      (407) 846-3333              BECOME A GANG
    activities.                                                                       MEMBER?
                                                *For more crime prevention
                                                  information please call
                                                      (407) 518-2400
What is a Gang?
                                               1) An “informal” dress code that is followed by your         What Gangs Do?
                                               child, and his or her associates (hats, scarves, jewelry,
                                               shoelaces, colors, tattoos and insignias, etc.).
                                                                                                            Many gang activities are consistent with those engaged
Gangs are usually formed according to                                                                       by a large portion of society. But, when a gang
                                               2) Street slang, use of nicknames and hand signs.
ethic or racial guidelines, although there                                                                  member is involved in a weekend party, fund-
seems to be a current trend to form gangs      3) Newly acquired and unexplained “wealth” often             raising car wash, or even a family or
for economic reasons. Traditional youth        displayed, worn or shared with peers.                        neighborhood picnic, the potential for violence
gangs structured along ethic lines include                                                                  and criminal activity is far greater than for any
                                               4) Graffiti on personal property, book covers,               other group of people. Gang members seek
Hispanic, Asian (e.g. Vietnamese, Laotian),    notebooks and clothing. This graffiti may include            confrontation with rivals. The resulting violence
Black, Pacific Islander (e.g. Tongan,          initials, numbers, names, expressed racism or hatred         often claims innocent victims. Gang violence
Filipino), and White (e.g. Skinheads) gangs.   or religious groups or sexual preferences.                   varies from individual assaults to drive-by
A gang is a group of people who form an                                                                     shootings. Some gangs are involved in the sale
allegiance for a common purpose and            Factors Contributing to Gang Affiliation                     of drugs, extortion, robberies, motor vehicle
                                                                                                            thefts, or other criminal activity for monetary
engage in violent, unlawful, or criminal                                                                    gain. While gang violence and criminal activity
                                               Parents should look for change in behavior and
activity. A gang may or may not claim                                                                       often make headlines, vandalism in the form of
                                               lifestyle of their child. Contributing factors placing a
control over a certain territory in the        youth at risk include ineffective parental skills, history
                                                                                                            graffiti and the wanton destruction of public and
community.                                                                                                  private property is often done in the furtherance
                                               of family gang involvement and evidence of parental
                                                                                                            of the gang’s reputation. Abandoned houses are
                                               abuse or neglect. This type of dysfunctional family
                                                                                                            a favorite target for vandalism, but even
How Gangs Function?                            atmosphere affects the youth’s school behavior,
                                               leading to poor academic achievement and early
                                                                                                            occupied houses do not escape. Local businesses
                                                                                                            suffer not only from property damage and
                                               antisocial behavior. The at-risk youth now becomes a         graffiti, but also from loss of customers and
Gangs thrive on intimidation and               personal risk. The youth will display low self-esteem        employees.
notoriety.     They often find violence        and may begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
glamorous and a necessity in order to          As the youth searches for his or her new identity, he
maintain individual and gang status. Like                                                                   Neighborhood Involvement
                                               usually isolates himself with others experiencing
most groups, street gangs depend upon          similar social and personal problems. Youth exposed
                                                                                                            Gangs attempt to instill fear, intimidating rivals
both individual and group participation.       to these influences without guidance has a tendency to
                                                                                                            and citizens alike. The gang’s power grows
Unlike legitimate groups or organizations,     accept and legitimize his activities. The youth will
                                                                                                            through the use of fear and intimidation. This
                                               flourish and strive in his or her newly found status.
street gangs generally do not have an                                                                       can be countered by citizen’s action groups such
                                               This self rewarding status guarantees the youth’s            as Neighborhood Watch. A neighborhood that
identified leader. The person who is the       indulgence with the gang culture.                            is united and dedicated in a spirit of cooperation
toughest, has the guns, or has the most
                                                                                                            toward stopping crime and violence will greatly
money may emerge as the leader, but this       Effects of Gang Involvement                                  hamper the gang’s effort to flourish.
status is generally short-lived.
                                               Gang membership extracts a terrible toll from the            When incidents occur, cooperate with authorities.
Sings of Gang Involvement
                                               lives of all who are in contact with the member.
                                               Families of gang members must be concerned for
                                                                                                            Your help and cooperation may prevent others from
                                               their own safety as well as that of their son or             becoming victims of gang violence, information
                                               daughter who is a gang member. Friends who are not           concerning gang crimes, wanted suspects, or any
Certain signs indicate gang involvement in                                                                  violent gang activity should be reported to your law
                                               involved with gangs are cast aside and soon the
our community or on school campuses.           youth’s only friends are gang members.                       enforcement agency.
Parents should be aware of these warning
signs and should be ready to employ the        Gang membership, although a temporary phase for
                                               some youths, will shape the individual’s future.
appropriate prevention and intervention        Formal education is discarded because it is counter
strategies. These warning signs include:       productive to gang’s objectives.

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