Gangs Research Paper

Gangs Research Paper-10
Before discussing the issue of youth gang involvement in Canada, it is important to clarify what is meant by the term.Within and between academic, government and law enforcement communities there is a lack of a widely-agreed upon definition of 'youth gang'.The majority of the theoretical knowledge and empirical work on youth gangs has come from the United States.

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Further, a clear, concise definition of 'youth gang' is needed in the context of the development, implementation and evaluation of prevention and intervention initiatives.

This allows us to better focus our efforts by setting aside other criminal offenders and youth groups that infrequently participate in criminal activity (Klein & Maxson, 2006) and to properly tailor strategies targeting those at risk of and involved in youth gangs.

This research report provides an overview of advances that have been made in defining youth gangs and their activities, motivations for joining, and risk and protective factors that influence involvement in a gang lifestyle.

Further, in the last number of years strides have been made in understanding gang involvement among several key populations, namely Aboriginal youth, immigrant youth and young women.

Correspondence concerning this report should be addressed to: Research Division Public Safety Canada 340 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8 Email: PS. In the 1990s, gangs and their activities were given renewed attention when media organizations and many police departments began to increasingly attribute street shootings in many cities to youth gangs (Ezeonu, 2010).

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Over the past 25 years, this has led to increased efforts by researchers, evaluators and policymakers to better understand the issue and to develop solutions to address youth gang involvement and gang-related activities in Canada.As a whole, youth aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 24 accounted for over a third of individuals accused in police-reported criminal incidents in Canada in 2014.The majority of youth accused in some of the most serious offences were co-offenders.The historical and demographic differences between the two countries as well as the differences in political culture suggest the importance of examining the gang issue in Canada from an independent standpoint (Ezeonu, 2014).To that end, this report uses Canadian research and resources as much as possible. Wiley Online Library requires cookies for authentication and use of other site features; therefore, cookies must be enabled to browse the site.Detailed information on how Wiley uses cookies can be found in our Privacy Policy.Motivations for gang involvement may include any number of the following (as described in Dunbar, 2016): It is important to highlight that individuals join gangs for a variety of reasons, and these are not exclusive of one another.The decision to join is often well thought out and the individual believes that this is best for their interests at the moment (Sánchez-Jankowski, 2003). Theoretical and empirical research and evaluation efforts continue with the goal of better understanding and responding to this issue.Advances have been made in defining the nature of youth gangs and their activities, the motivations for joining, and the risk and protective factors that influence involvement in a gang lifestyle.


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