Young people who crave excitement become gang members.
The media often glamorize the gang lifestyle. » Young people who cannot resist peer pressure may join because their friends are in gangs.
They may feel pressured to join to be part of the “in” crowd. » Young people who are fearful often feel that being a gang member will keep them safe.
If they are challenged by others, their gang/crew will help them retaliate because in the gang culture, no challenge goes unanswered.
Perversely, this idea of “safety” leads to increased violence. » Youth who do not understand the consequences do not fully understand the risks of being in a gang. Risks include arrest, physical assault and in some cases, death. » Young people are often recruited by older gang members to commit their criminal acts, because the adults feel that laws are more lenient on juveniles.
In Jamaica the laws are lenient on all criminals so the latter line does not apply. However lax law enforcement and a porous and delinquent justice system encourages and enhances the process of criminality and Gang activity it was designed to remedy.
Talk to you next time…