Nowadays, young people aged 12-22 like to crowd to walk, talk and generally have fun. This is the characteristic feature of their behavior. Entertainment of youth may be different, starts from going to the movies and ends with smashing windows, arson and daylight robbery. The line between bosom friends and gang membership is sometimes so thin that young people pass it taking no notice. Joining various teen and pre-teen age groups means the way to improve their young social status, self-assertion and gain popularity. Therefore adults pretty well know under which circumstances their children become criminals. The reasons of such “sinister” transformations are concealed in the economy (Rogers, 1998).
Next, it is the social milieu or organizational context that drives youths to become gang members. The authors, however, do not generally explain why others from the same social context are not so driven. Siegel states that many teenagers are drawn to work in the cocaine trade simply because they want jobs. The drug business is a “safety net” of sorts (Siegel et al., 1999), a place where it is always possible to make a few dollars. Teens are also pulled by the flash and dazzle and pushed by the desire to be somebody. While money and drugs are the obvious immediate reward for kids in the cocaine trade and there is the desire to show family and friends that they can succeed at something (Scott, 1993); moving up a career ladder and making money is especially important. Besides, there is female gang membership which is a “pale imitation” of male gang membership. Some of the authors suggest that young female, like young male, gang members have weak bonds to family and school. “Generally they have low aspirations and are isolated and separated from dominant middle-class institutions” (Siegel et al., 1999).
Formerly, young people behaved like hooligans, not a bit than nowadays, but adults usually took it for granted, so noisy revelries and fisticuffs were considered as a normal part of adolescence. Young hooliganism was very often a part of the social order.
Although, it should be mentioned that the street youth gang model of 2012 differs and has three distinctive features. First, the age of today's most notorious gangsters does not exceed 13-14 years. This is, as a rule, pupils from an inner-city economic structure with high unemployment, underemployment, and joblessness and where there is the “juvenilization of poverty”. They usually cycle in and out of the justice system and engage in unplanned, opportunistic, violent and predatory crimes. Second, street gangs have become less respect the so-called “code of honor”. If three decades ago, the gang has stuck to hard and fast rules and principles (and remotely resembled the mafia), then today they are not about to stop. Old men, women and even small children die from their actions. Moreover, the arrested gang members throw off all shame and tell FBI and NYPD officers about their accomplices, trying to escape well deserved punishment. Third, the ethnic component is no longer the determining factor in the ideology of the gang. Today in each gang consists of black, white, Latin Americans, Asians and even native Indians.
Unfortunately, there is little in this paper devoted directly to issues of government policy and programs. Indeed, public policymakers either fail to understand gangs or find themselves in a policy quagmire. Anderson says that some of the older gang intervention and control projects “were poorly monitored (by federal authorities) and little technical assistance was provided” (Anderson, 1994). Official opposition particularly by the police undermined some of the programs. Thus, police, for example, mistakenly understand the gang as a criminal conspiracy and consequently overreact in their efforts to control gangs.
It is true, that human service agencies can play a positive role in rehabilitating or “coopting the gangs”. The street-work projects that include a comprehensive set of intervention components%u2015community organization, family casework, detached work with gangs, organized group work, recreation, and job referral will help to make less frequent the need for status maintaining aggression by gang members.
Gang programs need to train and hire former local gang members as staff (and) utilize older members as consultants in developing new programs. Previously, while the institutions of school and family in many cases were ineffective in providing alternatives for the gang girls, agencies and youth gang workers were often very useful. The girls expressed far more positive attitudes toward youth workers. At the same time, some of the mothers of these female gang members expressed ambivalent views about the value of social service agencies. “They don't help them out with jobs. They promise them a lot of things and they let them down.... There's certain programs that I know, they just money-grabbers” (Rogers, 1998).
Hence, the importance of jobs, training, and education should be emphasized. Gang programs must offer an alternative, not just counseling. If the program offers nothing other than counseling, it is ineffective. They need jobs and training. The main emphasis for dealing with gangs needs to be on creating jobs and improving education, not rationalizing the criminal justice system.
To conclude, all but a small percentage of the activities of youth gangs consist of customary and legal forms of adolescent behavior-boy-girl contacts, group participation in recreation, entertainment, dancing, and the like. Young people easily run off the rails nowadays. Urbanization is progressing rapidly and multi-million cities in developing countries are overgrown with slums. The United Nations predicts that by 2020 a half of the world's urban population will live in poverty. But, this forecast has been made before the crisis, so the actual target number may be even higher. Of course, some basic social science knowledge is provided about changing social contexts, gang structures, and processes, and such information can lead to a better understanding of complex gang problems and intimate general policies and programs to try. However, the difficult, systematic work of developing detailed policy and program procedures and then testing them through rigorous evaluation remains.