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Solutions to gang violance and the disproportionate minority contact/ confiniment of Latino youth in the Juvenile Justice/ Crimi - Essay Example

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Solutions to gang violence and the disproportionate minority contact/ confinement of Latino youth in the Juvenile Justice/ Criminal Justice System. Introduction Gang activity in the United States is seen as a form of anti-social behaviour which is traditionally addressed by programs employing social control mechanisms, the main feature of which involves physical coercion…
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Download file to see previous pages More recently, these approaches have come into question, and more careful study of the causes of Latino gang formation and violence, and the higher than proportionate increase of Latino youth incarcerations, have prompted more incisive understanding of how to resolve them. This brief discussion treats on the non-traditional, more socially oriented approaches to the eradication of Latino gang violence and criminality. Causes of formation of youth gangs and gang violence. Rios described how as a fourteen-year-old he was subjected to beatings by the police for allegedly stealing a car, something he did not do. He said that while doing time, another boy named Tony, also in the juvenile facility gave him pointers for stealing a car. Hours after his release, he stole a car using the techniques he had picked up while in the facility (Rios:2). Gangs are formed when the youth search for structure, protection, support, and security – things that should have been provided by a family home. Their formation is also fuelled by abusive family relationships, neglect in early childhood, and a constant state of economic want (GP:04/17). Solutions to the proliferation of Latino youth gang violence The problem of youth gangs is that they are caught in a cycle of incarceration and criminality, often the first preceding the latter because the youth are prejudged and punished even before having committed their first crime. In order to break the cycle, punishment must be transformed through a more creative channel for social control. An attitude of genuine care and concern for the marginalized youth should replace the system of punitive practices and fixed typologies; this Rios (Rios:3) found in the persons of the solicitous teacher and the police officer who mentored him as a youth out of gang life. There have been several non-traditional anti-gang programs initiated in various parts of the country. These programs, targeted at the youths vulnerable to gang recruitment, include sports leagues, Boy Scouts, church groups, and day camps supervised by officers who teach the campers about ways to resist behaviour that leads to crime. Arlington officers have diverted youths to a boxing program run by Willie Taylor, whose pro-boxer status earns him credibility with the youth. Through such activities and with the active participation of the parents, structure is created for the youth while affording them alternative activities in lieu of gang involvement (Jackman:1). The disproportionate minority contact and confinement of Latino youth: causes and cures When gang members are arrested, they are kept in custody longer and their release is often delayed, merely because they are known to be members of a gang (GP:04/17). The fact that they are similarly subjected to the same prejudicial treatment reinforces their loyalty to and identity with the gang, almost ensuring the continued criminality among succeeding generations of Latino youth. Determinate sentences, or those which prescribe minimum and maximum penalties, work to disadvantage youths who have already been unfairly convicted in the past. Furthermore, imprisonment policies, as argued by Moto, serve only to aggravate the numbers of Latino youths imprisoned, rather than mitigate them (GP:04/24). Eliminating this while simultaneously providing better ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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