Joininga gang is usually a thrilling and exhilarating experience for youngrecruits who want a sense of identity and to be identified with aparticular group. Participating in a gang is, therefore, a rationalchoice for most recruits. They are striking since they promisesubstantial gains which lure the young and innocent into joining them(Lahey, Gordon, Loeber, Stouthamer-Loeber & Farrington, 1999).
Inmost cases gang members are recruited from neighborhoods and thoseattending the same schools since it is easy to contact them quickly.The older members mandate themselves with the responsibility ofassessing the new recruits who have few privileges qualify to be inthe gang or not (Short, 1990).
Peopleat Risk of Joining Gangs
Thepeople who are susceptible to joining gangs include the youth, drugaddicts, street urchins and the unemployed.
Contributionof Risk Factors to Gang Recruitment
Whenpeople are unemployed the drive to acquire money forces them to lookfor alternative ways to earn some cash and to join a group would beone of the easiest. The drug users are vulnerable because most gangsspecialize in vending drugs, and this acts as an accessible entrypoint into the gangs. The street children as a means of survival haveto form gangs for them to fit in the society.
Youthsare most vulnerable to joining gangs as a result of negative peerpressure and the need to belong or be identified as ‘cool.` Most ofthe gangs dress in the latest trending fashion clothes and drive poshvehicles the young teens will automatically be lured into the gangs(Taylor, 2013). Academic failure would also be a factor wheredisappointments and frustrations in school work would act as acatalyst for gang entry. Lack of close monitoring by parents anddomestic violence at home could also lead to the alienation of thekids to join groups where they feel they are wanted. Some of theyouths will also join gangs to feel a sense of protection.
Lahey,B., Gordon, R., Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Farrington,D. (1999). Boys Who Join Gangs: A Prospective Study of Predictors ofFirst Gang Entry. JournalOf Abnormal Child Psychology,27(4),261-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/b:jacp.0000039775.83318.57
Short,J. (1990). Cities, gangs, and delinquency. SociolForum,5(4),657-668. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf01115397
Taylor,S. (2013). Why American boys join street gangs. Int.J. Sociol. Anthropol.,5(9),339-349. http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/ijsa12.073